Olympus is Down, White House has Fallen. Wait, something does not sound right there. 2013 became the year of hostile presidential takeovers, as two movies involving terrorist attacks on the White House came out within months of each other, both eerily similar in plot and both with huge names adding to their draw. The question still remains though; which movie will go down in the books as the better White House Fallen movie? Let’s break it down, shall we?
BUTLER VS TATUM
Gerard Butler is a well-known action star, who certainly has his fair share of fun in OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. As he attempts to save the President’s son from terrorists, he has this very harsh tone to him. He takes the role a little too seriously and the character pails somewhat to Channing Tatum in WHITE HOUSE DOWN. Tatum actually looks like he’s having fun in his role as saviour. We see his character go to extremes where he intensely needs to save everyone as well as to more lighthearted moments, for instance when his President, Jamie Foxx, loses a bazooka. Tatum keeps it light and plays it with just the right amount of humour, which makes for a much more entertaining movie.
Winner: Channing Tatum
WHICH ONE COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN?
In OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, director, Antoine Fuqua, gives us a group of terrorists who infiltrate the White House from the outside with armed garbage trucks, helicopters, bazookas and more. Somehow the writers rationalized that audiences would just forget that the air space around the White House is restricted; any perceived enemy would be shot down immediately. They are strict about that no-fly zone, y’know. However, in WHITE HOUSE DOWN, with the help of an inside man sneaking a bomb into the White House, the infiltration is slightly more covert. It is still absurd but at least it allows for some actual plausibility. The odds are slim but it could, maybe, happen, maybe, in a million years.
Winner: WHITE HOUSE DOWN
When it comes to some of the best one-liners in action movies, or in cinematic history for that matter, it is hard not to think of “Yippie-ki-yay, mother@#er” from DIE HARD, or “I’ll be back” from THE TERMINATOR. When looking at OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN we get a DIE HARD-esque quote, which is just brilliantly delivered by Butler. “Why don’t you and I play a game of F@#k off? You go first.” That was one of the best moments from OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, period. However, WHITE HOUSE DOWN certainly has a great one too. This one was spoken by their president, Foxx. The man is fighting for his life and then gives us “Get. Your. Hands. Off. My. Jordans.” Sure, its funny, but nowhere near as hysterical nor ridiculous as the line from OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. Regardless, neither is going down in history.
Winner: OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN
OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN has the phenomenal Morgan Freeman as their Speaker of the House. He has a relatively small part and when he is present he does not do much. (I’ve heard it said you can see him sleeping in one shot.) It is almost like he is just there to add his name to the movie for a draw; his minor character even makes the Blu-ray cover! In WHITE HOUSE DOWN, director, Roland Emmerich, was able to recruit James Woods. That man brings it every time. He is completely unhinged here and loving it. You can tell and he delivers a great performance as a result.
Winner: James Woods, WHITE HOUSE DOWN
THE BETTER PRESIDENT
Eckhart versus Foxx is a pretty tough call, even if neither one is really old enough to be POTUS in the first place. One of these scripts is better than the other though, which helps one man better rise to the occasion. The pen is mightier than the sword after all. In the end, by channeling his best Barack, and for actually saying “I choose the pen” at one point, Foxx proved to be the stronger presidential candidate, securing WHITE HOUSE DOWN the overall win! Not to take away from Foxx but his chemistry with Tatum was what really sealed this deal.
And with that, WHITE HOUSE DOWN will always be the ARMAGEDDON and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN will go the way of DEEP IMPACT; WHITE HOUSE DOWN is the SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, the MIRROR MIRROR. Oh wait; those both sucked.