Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Olympus Down

We watched Olympus Has Fallen (2013) as a companion piece to White House Down. I never heard the story of how two movies with the exact same premise are made within a year of each other, but these movies are incredibly close. And a lot of people thought at least one was junk.

This movie stars Gerard Butler instead of Tatum Channing. Instead of a wannabe Secret Service agent, he's an agent who retires on the night the First Lady dies in a car crash. But, just like WHD, he just happens to be in the White House when a small military operation --SPOILER-- takes down the White House.

Aside: That about 25 people with small arms could take out the White House really struck me as implausible. OK, they had a prop-driven bomber, but didn't actually drop any bombs. Somehow, in OHF, I could buy it (and they only had about 9).

Like in WHD, the terrorists take hostages, but in this case, the kid who knows everything about the White House is the president's son, not the agent's daughter. He also manages to avoid capture, but he doesn't post YouTubes of the crisis.

Also, the Speaker of the House who is made president when the POTUS and VPOTUS are offline is Morgan Freeman. --SPOILER-- He is not the behind the scenes villain that I assumed him to be. I don't know if he was a red herring or just pointless.

Overall, this just wasn't as fun as White House Down. WHD had humor - Die Hard level, as I estimate. It had better plot twists. It had Jamie Foxx as president, having a ball. Olympus Has Fallen has Morgan Freeman, doing a fine job. I think that OHF director Antoine Fuqua wanted to make the best damn film he could. Roland Emmerich knew he was making crap, and just went with it.

In conclusion, Olympus has Ricky Yune as major villain. It doesn't redeem the movie, but it helps.

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