Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writers: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
After an accident one cold and snowy night which forced him into saving the president (Eckhart) over the presidents wife, Mike Banning (Butler) is now assigned to a desk job just outside the White House, instead of being the presidents personal bodyguard. A career professional he looks on out of the window with perhaps a little regret while still doing his government duties. Meanwhile in a ridiculous scene where an enemy plane manages to get far too close to where it wants to be (and after dealing with two military jets) the bad guys are on their way to the White House.
On the White House lawn all hell breaks loose as the terrorists manage to gun down special agents and blow up various things before forcing their way into the building (killing more people en-route). While on the phone to his wife, Banning notices this and jumps into action as the one-man army we naturally assume he is and manages to sneak inside before the building is shut down. How convenient. Even more convenient is that all his security codes still work even though he longer works there. Lucky break eh?
As far as Die Hard type films go, this is one of the dumber ones I ever had the misfortune to view. The plot is ridiculous, the scenes are even more ridiculous and some of the ‘plot conveniences’ are right out there in the dumb as hell stakes. Anyway, as one can guess Banning systematically makes his way through secret chambers, holes in walls and various other ‘no one knows about places’ in order to rescue people, dispatch with bad guys and eventually get to the president.
Now, as far as turn-your-brain-off-at-the-door films go, this is average stuff and should satisfy your typical patriotic, below average intelligence, cousin liking testosterone filled male. As for anyone else, I’d probably recommend just watching the first Die Hard again for the fifty eighth time instead. Trust me, you’ll have much more fun. The CGI here is average at best with a script which is perhaps even worse. The single saving grace to this mess is the acting, and that is saying something.
Stereotypical bad guys, dumb good guys, ridiculous scenarios, and a daft plot. Not much else to say really except that Fuqua pulled of a master-stroke with this rubbish. He really has dropped a few talent points though compared to his earlier impressive work. What makes all this even funnier is that generally this film actually tries to take itself seriously and fails at every imaginable level possible. How this even made money and garnered the ratings it did is beyond me.
To sum up, if you’re looking for a fast-paced action flick which rarely lets up and you don’t mind your intelligence level dropping somewhat while watching it then this may be for you. Otherwise, stick to White House Down (a far superior film) or Die Hard, which while silly itself at times, still holds the bar for one of the better types of normal guy saves the day kind of films. As for Butler, he’s a bankable actor, but he really should stay away from this kind of stuff now and stick to the romantic comedies.
The Sage’s Rating: