An unidentified aircraft is spotted approaching the White House so the Secret Service rush the President, his cabinet and visiting officials to the safety of the presidential bunker. The White House is under aerial and ground attack, and nobody - it would seem - can do a thing to stop it. Using his inside knowledge, a one-man fighting machine - in the wrong place at the wrong time - breaches the White House's increasingly compromised security to discover that the President has been taken hostage.
He has just made contact with The Pentagon for the first time...
INT. THE PENTAGON - EARLY AFTERNOON
I'm sorry. What did you say your name was again?
I'm Gerard Butler.
Gerard Butler. I was the leading man in RocknRolla, Bounty Hunter and P.S. I Love You?
Never heard of you. We were expecting Bruce Willis. Steven Seagal at the very least.
I was in 300...
Oh. That guy. I didn't recognise you in colour. You're the shepherd from Greece, right?
No, I'm Scottish.
Scottish, sure. That's the little town in England, right?
I'm not from England. I'm from Scotland.
Where's that again?
We have castles and haggis. Guys that wear skirts. Our capital was built on seven hills. Like Rome, but less pasta.
Oh, that Scotland! Got'ya. Sorry about the misunderstanding soldier. It's good to hear from you. If you get back in one piece, we'll throw another shrimp on the barbie. You'd like that, wouldn't you sir?
The OFFICIAL hears a slapping sound on the other end of the speaker.
INT. PRESEDENTIAL BUNKER - SOMETIME LATER
MIKE BANNING, after killing maybe 300 North Koreans without even breaking a sweat, discovers the president and frees him from his captors.
Say, aren't you the guy in Movie 43?
MIKE BANNING shoots the President. Then himself. Probably.
Olympus has Fallen, from the director of Training Day, is the best Die Hard film never made. Quite why we had to sit through A Good Day to Die Hard when we could have had John McClane saving the President is beyond me. The effects look rushed, it has to be said, but the action is relentless, bloody and loud. Gerard Butler really should stick to making action movies because it's clearly what he does best.
He's joined by the likes of Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart and Angela Bassett for this preposterous, but undoubtedly entertaining, action thriller that takes itself a little too seriously at times. The first act especially is particularly gruesome. Rick Yune is cool, calm and deadly as the dastardly villain, and Morgan tells it exactly how it is. Especially when it comes to coffee. It will be interesting to see what Roland Emmerich has in store with White House Down, but this will definitely do for now. Lower your expectations and enjoy it for what it is. Recommended. AW