For those who thought the last
Bystanders and tourists, soldiers, cops and
This is "Die Hard in the White House," with
Not without a fight, of course. This president (
Banning is a former White House detail member, on the outs because of a life-or-death decision he made months before. When the gunship sweeps over D.C., when ordinary Asian tourists turn out to be terrorists, when innocent garbage trucks turn into tanks, Mike's the man of the moment — dashing back inside his old stomping grounds, where a mastermind (
Banning is the only guy who can get to the fortified presidential bunker where the hostages are. He proceeds to stab, shoot and strangle his way through legions of terrorists, quipping in his updates as he shows off his trophies, by phone, to the rest of the government, which can only ask "Is he alive?" about Mike's latest catch.
Butler is fine in this part, which demands little more of him than an ability to change magazines like he's done it before. Many times. Mike has skills, which work against this
But there's pathos amid the carnage. A good cast (
Better thrillers make more of the whole shaky state of command in such calamities, wavering over terrorist demands, stringing out the suspense and playing up the clock as it ticks toward whatever nuclear doomsday awaits should our hero fail. Director
For all the bursts of blood, the gunplay and execution-style head-shots that punctuate scores of deaths, it's hard to see "Olympus Has Fallen" (that's Secret Service code) as much more than another movie manifestation of a first-person shooter video game. We've become a head-shot nation, and our thrillers are the poorer for it.
MPAA rating: R (for strong violence and language throughout)
Running time: 1:53