When the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”) is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning’s inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President and avert an even bigger crisis. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) directs an all-star cast featuring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd and Rick Yune.
In a tradition where one hero will save all, and it means: all, the movie offers nothing new. And when you’re familiar with the pattern, a simple low note with the music scoring tells you that the Villain gets in from the front door. Don’t even go to the perfect-perfect composition the shots offered when the grand scene arrives, when the Korean guys gets inside the White House complex. And the scanner at the front door scanned the bones of fast moving subjects, identified the people sophisticatedly, tells us that all is well. All is well. And we simply know by then, all is actually, not well. And so the camera gets in closer to Kang. That’s when we know, err, that’s when I know, he is the Villain. Otherwise, why the camera bother track into him?..
Nothing is too hard to discovered in the beginning of the movie. Not even the strange dialogue about doors and secret tunnels between Mike Banning the Presidential Guard and Connor the President’s son, who off course, that time in the beginning stays with the presidential guard’s car, with Mike. While Diaz, the other Presidential Guard, drove the President and First Lady, humbly smiles over simple scene when they exchanged christmas gift in the car. Mike will stay alive, so does Connor, we know that now. Something must happens to invest motive and reason, for the Hero to stay on the next 90 minutes, looking heroic. So when the car went down but we got the President safe, we knew that.
The attacks gone organically, we never really know what’s going on outside, but in the inside, all the west and east mixed beautifully weird. We don’t see too many shots inside, but for just a couple minutes, but more of the series of graphic brutality, that I never expected from such film studio, Hollywood, I may able to add. Well, except when Tarantino’s in the house. The choreography of killing widened from just pull the trigger as any other american movies, into using knife-very well might I add-, and some -I think- more than 20 neck snaps.
What I like most is the fight choreography between Banning and Forbes. I don’t remember why, but I like it a lot. Please forgive me. I will update when I remember why 🙂
The scene with the Secretary is also good, I think. Words put nicely, good enough for action junkies like me, he he. I remember one of her words to the President, “We may meet our God today, but I would never let my headstone written: died without a fight”. She told him that, after being kicked, dragged here and there by Kang, the baby-face terrorist.
And the most cute scene, which I think only Gerard Butler can do it, is when he told Connor about his duty.
So someday I, or now you can tell one more story for your children before they go to bed, that one day, a president got locked up in the white house, the safest building in the whole world. He locked up with the enemy, who used him, once again, as a bait for a simple answer about moral responsibility of a country.
Because people like the police and the army responded very late and the chain of highly skill terrorist now getting even better and more, and more unbeatable (so it seems), a man who brave enough to face the challenge shall come in handy. In this case, someone who knows very well how to face it, how to get through it, someone once believe, that he failed his own responsibility.
But everybody said, that the world is actually consists of 3 things: to try, to fix, and to try again, one more time.
A chance appears, one man raised to it, white house may not be white anymore at the time, but the nation will still rise.
Well, I think it’s a pretty good story to tell, with or without Gerard Butler in it. Just makes sure there will still be Morgan Freeman 😉