Having lived through the Sept 11th attacks, I remember the sense of helplessness that came across myself and many Americans. I was reminded of that during the first thirty minutes of “Olympus has Fallen”, which is harrowing. Aaron Eckhart plays President Asher, a recently widowed President and Gerard Butler, the secret service agent who was in command of his detail when the first lady died. A year later, we find Butler now off his team (its said in the movie he reminds the President of his wife's death) and going stir crazy at the Treasury. Suddenly, during a South Korean state visit, The White house is taken down with an execution level not seen since Hans Gruber took Nakatomi Plaza. Rick Yune does his best villain thing, but ultimately I think the story goes flat once the President's son is safely rescued by Butler. One has to question the decision making of the officials left running operations on the outside (Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster) because seemingly EVERY TOP OFFICAL was at the White House at once. (They successfully kidnap the President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense and a few others). Isn't there a law against this?
While the action by director Antoine Fuqua is top notch and I buy heavily into the connection between Eckhart, Butler and the President's son, this movie just led me to ask more questions about the ineptness of the films government and military characters and I hope to god the real people are smarter.
On the other hand, Roland Emmerich sure does love blowing up the White House. More so, Hollywood seems to love the “Dad who forgets the dance recital” character trope. “White House Down” has both!
Channing Tatum plays a capital cop with hopes of being a Secret Service agent, mostly to impress his daughter, but also because “he can't think of a more important job there is”. He's turned down for the job by Maggie Gyllenhaal, primarily because he didn't finish college (or anything in his life) and has a terrible track record at his current position. What better hero to come in and save Jamie Foxx's President Sawyer, a more swaggy urban version of Obama, who's decided to pull all our troops out of the middle east, angering pretty much everyone from his own government officials to defense contractors. Jason Clarke and James Woods try their best to give this film an evil direction, but it never really develops into anything interesting.
Uh...thats it. :/