This film was released a little over two years ago. It is from Sony Pictures and runs just under two hours. Director Antoine Fuqua, who directed “King Arthur” in 2004, “Shooter” in 2007, and most recently last year’s “The Equalizer” with Denzel Washington, has taken the script from Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt and delivered a tense action-drama. And with the pending release of a sequel entitled “London Has Fallen” to be released early next year, I decided to go back to the film and offer my take. You can watch the trailer for the sequel below.
Is the film a masterpiece? Not quite. Was it a runaway hit? Not hardly. Or at least not the hit the filmmakers possibly hoped it would be. However, with a budget of $70,000,000 and grossing more than $160,000,000 worldwide, it did carry its own. I will mention there are some spoilers. The ‘Olympus’ trailer can be viewed below.
When it was released, there were several comparisons to “Die Hard.” I would agree that it had some similarities as it was about a former Secret Service agent Mike Banning, played by Gerard Butler, who now has taken a desk job in the treasury after a winter car accident results in the loss of the First Lady. However, a terrorist attack on the White House springs him into action and Banning finds himself in the White House, unbeknown to the terrorists at first, and tries to figure out what is going on. I believe that’s about as close to “Die Hard” it gets.
The day begins like any other day. U. S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) is meeting with the South Korean Prime Minister. After the attack, the President is rushed to the bunker and goes against protocol to allow the Prime Minister and his team in the bunker as well. From there, the terrorists carry out their plan by someone inside the Prime Minister’s detail, who we find out later is a known terrorist known as Kang (Rick Yune). Kang was not necessarily real threatening as a villain but was believable as a man who thought what he was trying to do was right. With the president and vice president being held hostage, the duties of the acting president fall under the Speaker of the House Alan Trumball, played by Morgan Freeman. He was calm and collected, yet forceful when needed, as the acting president. Eckhart was believable as a strong president and a loving father to his son.
To me the film had elements of the television series “24” with its inside job players. The most notable is a former Secret Service agent played by Dylan McDermott. He is at the White House on the day of the attack and is supposed to be in retirement, although his presence is never quite fully explained. But I guess the terrorists can’t have the access they have without someone being there on the inside that was part of the government. The majority of the film also took place within a 24-hour period, much like the series. Additionally, Butler’s character was ex-special forces, similar to Kiefer Sutherland’s character on “24.”
From the onset, one can see the attack on the White House was a well-coordinated attack. There might have been a couple of things that might make you scratch your head. For example, a bus was blown up at a certain time for a distraction. It might make you wonder how the terrorists would know that the bus would be there at that exact moment for their plan to work. But again, it follows the idea that this was a well-planned attack. Additionally, the terrorists did have some help from the inside as well. I’m sure that made things a little easier to coordinate. All in all, the action seemed to flow at a good pace and seemed enjoyable as an action-drama.