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Dallas
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PostSubject: Reviews of OHF   Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:49 am

New York Times Review:

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He’s Weary, but Psyched to Save Democracy
‘Olympus Has Fallen,’ Starring Gerard Butler


The most recent “Die Hard” movie — which the record shows I reviewed a little more than a month ago, although I have no recollection of it — was terrible, but it turns out not to have been the worst “Die Hard” movie this year. That honor, for the moment at least (it’s only March!), belongs to “Olympus Has Fallen,” which is not, strictly speaking, part of the franchise at all. It is more a “school of Die Hard” production, in which a weary and battered law enforcement professional, severely constrained by time and space, fights off a ridiculous number of bad guys.


The bad guys in this case are the North Korean minions of a nasty superterrorist (Rick Yune), the setting is the White House, and the Bruce Willis understudy is meaty old Gerard Butler, playing a knocked-around Secret Service agent named Mike Banning. Banning was part of the president’s security detail — and buddies with Potus’s young son, Connor (Finley Jacobsen) — until a tragic accident got him exiled to the Treasury Department. The same accident removed Ashley Judd from the picture, for which she can be both mourned and envied.

The square-jawed commander in chief (Aaron Eckhart) is held hostage in a bunker beneath 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, along with the vice president and some cabinet members, notably the secretary of defense (Melissa Leo). Meanwhile, in another location, Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman and Robert Forster earn some money barking out orders and looking at screens full of intel. The body count is high, the action is mean and bloody, and digital reproductions of popular Washington landmarks take a terrible beating

All of which — and Dylan McDermott as a turncoat former colleague of Banning’s — is more or less what you would expect. And the director, Antoine Fuqua, is skilled at orchestrating both hand-to-hand mayhem and large-scale explosions. It may be too much to ask for anything more, but, on the other hand, if you’re going to go to the trouble of pretending to blow up the White House, you might also want to pretend that something was at stake.

Sadly, Mr. Butler lacks the wit and the range to convey anything other than grouchy belligerence, and the script, by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, seems intent on squandering opportunities to be clever or interesting. The motivations of the villains are fairly straightforward, and what seem like promising implications of an elaborate conspiracy are discarded, as is the possibility of a “Home Alone: The White House” caper involving Connor.

But viewers who need a dose of bloated, moronic pseudo-patriotism right now may appreciate “Olympus Has Fallen,” at least as a stopgap until the similar-looking “White House Down” opens in June. I’d say it can’t be worse than this, but who am I kidding?

“Olympus Has Fallen” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Blood and bad words.

Olympus Has Fallen

Opens on Friday nationwide.



Last edited by Dallas on Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:05 pm

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'Olympus Has Fallen' review: Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart bring 'Die Hard' to the White House
By Roger Moore

March 21, 2013 8:00 AM ET
For those who thought the last Bruce Willis movie was a little light on the casualty list, "Olympus Has Fallen" arrives toting the biggest body count since "Die Hard II."


Bystanders and tourists, soldiers, cops and Secret Service agents fall by the score in a movie about the unthinkable -- a terrorist ground assault on Washington, D.C. (Hollywood is providing two such "unthinkable" assaults this year, with "White House Down" due out this summer.)


This is "Die Hard in the White House," with Gerard Butler manfully manning up as Mike Banning, the lone Secret Service Agent survivor after terrorists take over the White House and seize the president and most of the cabinet.


Not without a fight, of course. This president (Aaron Eckhart) boxes. And wait'll you see the presidential head-butt.


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 (Rick Yune of "Die Another Day" and "The Man with the Iron Fists") tells the chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Robert Forster) and speaker of the House (Morgan Freeman), "I am the man in control of your White House."


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 works against this "Die Hard." This isn't John McClane, ordinary cop in over his head. Mike Banning has "special forces" on his resume, which robs the picture of some of its suspense.


But there's pathos here, amid the carnage. A good cast (Melissa Leo is a feisty secretary of Defense) does what it can with a tin-eared script, making us care who lives and who dies. As an interesting side story, Mike's wife (Radha Mitchell) is a nurse who deals with the carnage of America's darkest day in an overwhelmed hospital emergency room.


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 ticking down toward whatever nuclear doomsday awaits should our hero fail. Director Antoine Fuqua ("Shooter") is plainly dealing with a script that shortchanges all that, and he's not good enough to overcome it.


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.


------


OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN
2 stars (Grade: C-minus)
Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Rick Yune, Morgan Freeman, Radha Mitchell
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt. A FilmDistrict release.
Running time: 1:53
MPAA rating: R for strong violence and language throughout


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Dallas
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:22 am

USA Today review:

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Gerard Butler is a one-man army facing North Korean terrorists in the White House.

Olympus Has Fallen is Die Hard in the White House.

This is for those who like their political thrillers far-fetched, far-reaching and filled with pretty people.

Like Die Hard, Olympus (* * out of four; rated R; opening Friday nationwide) features cover-model terrorists, as gorgeous as they are ruthless. But it doesn't have the tension or the funny one-liners of the original Die Hard. The special effects are schlocky, the action lumbering.

Gerard Butler plays Mike Banning, a devoted Secret Service agent, one of the elite presidential guards. He boxes with President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) respectfully showing the commander in chief some new moves. When the first lady asks for his fashion counsel, he recommends the classiest earrings. He becomes pals with their plucky little son (Finley Jacobsen).

Banning saves the president's life during a car accident in a blizzard, but fails to save the first lady (Ashley Judd). Relegated to a dull desk job, he bristles with determination to prove his mettle.

He gets his chance when the White House is attacked. Dodging falling civilians, Banning makes his way over to the smoking hulk at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to single-handedly stop extremists bent on American annihilation.

Butler is better playing the action hero than playing his recent rom-com hunks, but the entire premise is forced, formulaic and far too familiar.

A North Korean fighter jet somehow appears in air space over Washington without being detected and rains destruction on our nation's capital. Really? All it takes to overtake the capital and wreak holy hell is one plane?

This happens just as a South Korean delegation arrives at the White House, without as much as being asked for I.D. by guards at the gate.

The good news is that when the errant plane is discovered, the president, vice president and several key administration officials are rushed into a bunker. The bad news is that the president invites the delegation to join him in the secure hideaway. But the visiting group also includes North Korean terrorists posing as South Korean security personnel. So the bad guys are not only inside the building, they're locked in with the nation's leaders.

Those leaders are tortured until they surrender parts of the country's closely guarded nuclear codes. But given that one techie woman seems to be constantly manning a computer, why doesn't she just crack the code? Everything else is equally implausible, including the Beltway Armageddon.

While some of the city is re-created believably, it's too bad nobody gave the same level of care to plot and dialogue. There even is a sloppy news segment with a typo in the headline: "Terrorist Attack the White House." Then there are the too-obvious symbols: a tattered flag flapping in the breeze. A bust of Abraham Lincoln shattering as it slays a terrorist.

Eckhart is thoroughly unconvincing as the leader of the free world. Some officials, like Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House, come off more believably. But the strikingly handsome terrorist known only as Kang is blandly played by Rick Yune.

Director Antoine Fuqua, whose Training Day was a gritty triumph, paints everything here with too broad a brush. Patriotism, the North Korean threat, anonymous shootouts, nuclear war — all are depicted in the most simplistic ways imaginable.

As Olympus falls, all subtlety and suspense is lost.

USA TODAY review: * * out of four

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:36 pm

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Gerard Butler returns to action-hero form in 'Olympus


It is a sad world we live in where a film such as 'Olympus Has Fallen' manages to be a better Die Hard movie than the crappy fifth entry that was dumped into theaters a month prior. If a prediction were to be made as to how this film was pitched to the studio heads at Millennium Films, it probably went along the lines of “Imagine Die Hard…in the White House”. It is a gimmicky premise for sure and there have been many “Die Hard” imitators over the years, and some have been good (Speed, Con Air, The Rock). Thankfully, the latest from 'Training Day' director Antoine Fuqua also manages to be a solid action picture in it’s own right and the perfect popcorn flick for action junkies everywhere.

The plot revolves around Secret Service agent Mike Banning who is the head of the Presidential Detail until one fateful night when he fails to save President Benjamin Asher’s wife in a deadly limo crash. Skip to eighteen months later, Banning has been regulated to a boring desk job at the Treasury Department. One day, during a meeting between Asher and the South Korean Prime Minister, Korean-led guerilla forces launch a bold air and ground assault that results in the White House getting captured. Terrorist mastermind Kang Yeonsak (Rick Yune) now holds the President of the United States hostage and it is up to Banning (who has become trapped in the White House during the assault) to take them all down.

Gerard Butler plays Banning and this film is a great return to action-hero form after his stint in terrible rom-coms. A huge strength of the film is the strong central performance of Butler because he manages to successfully sell the character of Banning as an appealing mix of Liam Neeson-style ruthlessness and the humor of Die Hard’s John Mcclane. While the whole concept of the White House being taken over would have seemed wildly implausible even in a pre-911 world, the film approaches it’s premise with a straight face. One factor that helps this film along is an over-qualified supporting cast that brings more to the table than required. Aaron Eckhart brings much needed humanity in playing the President and the presence of Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House is always welcome. However, suspension of disbelief can always be earned if the promises of a film’s concept are served, and great action is what this flick delivers. Despite some dodgy CGI, the White House assault sequence is very intensely directed and the tension only rises as Banning relies on his wits to defeat the terrorists one by one. Plus the gun and fistfight scenes are awesomely choreographed and well staged.

This film is surely not going to win any Oscars, and it is not a great film but it is great entertainment. There may be some stiff dialogue, especially in the beginning, but stick with it and by the end, audiences will surely be enthralled.


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Dallas
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:58 am

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Movie Review: Olympus has Fallen
By Sam Brower

Until someone has the audacity to tell Gerard Butler to stop making movies as a favor to everyone forced to watch them, we will continue to endure his travesty of a film career.

In his most recent film Olympus Has Fallen, a group of North Korean radicals completely takes over the White House in a flurry of overdone explosions and thousands of bullets.

They kill everyone in their path except for former Presidential guard Mike Banning (Butler).

Not for lack of trying, Butler delivers a solid performance, but misses any substance.

The film is basically a bunch of recycled lines taken from older, more successful political action-dramas. Apparently the new standard in Hollywood is that reusing the same formula is fine as long as you slap on a new coat of paint and call it by a different name.

While this isn’t Butler’s fault, he just couldn’t bring himself to make Banning a character worthy of compassion or sympathy. The thing that films like Man On Fire, Die Hard and Top Gun have in common is that they all have storylines that we care about.

They make the characters personable and the audience just wants to keep watching their fictional lives unfold. Olympus Has Fallen lacks any of that, but does include a terrible script and a mediocre performance from an overrated actor.

As if the script wasn’t bad enough, the graphics were cringe-worthy. While I have no professional opinion regarding computer generated images, I can say this: If I can tell it’s fake within the first half second of it showing up on screen, you have some more work to do.

Not even eardrum-popping bomb blasts and overused smoke machines could distract me from the fact that the graphics made it impossible to truly delve into the film.

On the other side of things, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Dylan McDermott and Rick Yune manage to hold up their ends of the bargain.

While this isn’t enough to make up for Butler’s antics, it does make the film salvageable. Their acting is more than decent, though the script they got stuck with makes it pretty hard to enjoy.

While this film held up as an action flick, it doesn’t contain anything worth the 10 bucks and two hours. So unless for some unknown reason you’re a huge Gerard Butler fan, this is one film that would be more worth your money after its release at RedBox ... but even then it’s iffy.

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:10 pm

Ouch.
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Dallas
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:52 am

Digital Spy review:

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'Olympus Has Fallen' review: "Gerard Butler excels in decent thriller"


"Let's play a game of F**k Off. You go first..."

That cracking throwaway line, delivered with zeal by Gerard Butler's brawny hero to the mandatory North Korean baddie, exemplifies the heights occasionally obtained in this reasonably diverting thriller. It lacks the consistency and flair to live up to its attempted 'Die Hard in the White House' premise, for the most part feeling like an extended, bigger budgeted episode of 24 that runs out of ideas before the ticking clock and end credits.

Butler is at his quick-quipping, buttkicking best though, playing U.S. Army Ranger Mike Banning. Demoted from the Presidential Detail and consigned to a desk job after failing to save the First Lady (Ashley Judd) from dying in a car crash, Banning is loaded with guilt - especially as he was a close friend to President Asher (Aaron Eckhart). From that previous sentence alone, you can figure out 85% of the tale of redemption that follows, for the rusty cogs that turn the plot wheels are jarringly audible throughout.

Banning is hurled back into frontline duty when the White House is attacked and taken by North Korean terrorists, with the President taken hostage and forced to spend most of the movie tied up next to an armpit belonging to Melissa Leo's Secretary of Defense.

Using his guile and knowledge of the building, Banning is the typical lone operative whose shoulders the fate of America rests upon, for the bad guys plan to activate the nation's missile system.

He romps around the corridors bashing people up, while in audio contact with a room of fairly nondescript government types played by a heavyweight - but wasted - supporting cast of Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and Robert Forster.

A woefully underwhelming climax, featuring the inevitable bloody showdown, resoundingly fails to capitalise on the tension and thrills managed beforehand. It involves a few punches and an abundance of nauseating, flag-waving patriotism drenched in an overwrought score that necessitates a sick bag being in close proximity.

Antoine Fuqua's direction is fluid and the action sequences are well conveyed and full of clarity, as opposed to the terrible 'shakycam' tendencies that are becoming the norm in this genre. The initial terrorist attack on the White House is charged with visceral power and clinically establishes the premise, although the symbolic slow-motion shots of an American flag being strewn with bullets are groan-inducing and Zack Snyderesque. The CGI is also strikingly sub-par for a mainstream Hollywood movie.

The movie's best moments belong to Gerard Butler though, thriving in a role that's perfect for his capabilities as he establishes a hero we can't help but root for. Wisecracking and neckbreaking are the order of the day rather than emoting, especially as the token interaction with his wife (Radha Mitchell) is utterly pointless. Rick Yune also provides sufficient menace as the chief villain, while Aaron Eckhart clenches his jaw and channels the humanitarian decency of Bill Pullman's Independence Day President.

The plot is by the numbers and the payoff is unsatisfying, but Olympus Has Fallen packs in enough escapist action and intrigue to ensure a reasonably entertaining trip to the cinema. Plus there's that immortal 'F**k Off' line...


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Dallas
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:24 am

The UK Telegraph review:
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Olympus Has Fallen, review
Olympus Has Fallen is a rough, tough but tension-free gunfest , writes Robbie Collin.


15 cert, 120 min
Dir: Antoine Fuqua, Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo

Around halfway through the action film Olympus Has Fallen, Gerard Butler’s all-American secret service agent beats a North Korean terrorist to death with an iron bust of Abraham Lincoln.

The film does not have a light touch with the geopolitical symbolism, or indeed much else: foes of freedom are sworn at, gunned down and knifed in the skull, while we sporadically cut away to a bullet-riddled Old Glory, flapping proudly in slow motion. film

The premise: a mob of Korean goons storms the White House and kidnaps the US President, played by the far-too-young Aaron Eckhart. The bad guys are led by a man called Kang (Rick Yune), who demands that all Western forces withdraw from the Korean peninsula, and also has big plans for the US nuclear arsenal. Enter Butler as the President’s faithful servant, who scampers through the front door and raises star-spangled hell.

Director Antoine Fuqua made a great film in Training Day (2001), but here settles for passable pulp. Die Hard (1988) is obviously the model, and Olympus Has Fallen reminds you just how wonderfully balanced John McTiernan’s film was: Bruce Willis’s cocky nonchalance, Alan Rickman’s slithery charm, the whipcrack action scenes, the ever-ratcheting tension.

Fuqua doesn’t come close to matching that, and Butler is a little short on quips to leaven the violence. But it rattles along with no little vim, and there is one excellent joke about the difficulty of finding a computer’s hash key when time is tight.

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:04 am

The Scottish Daily Record:

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Movie review: Olympus Has Fallen

GERARD BUTLER stars as a secret service agent who must stop North Koreans from overtaking the White House and wreaking havoc in the western world.

LAST month we defended GI Joe: Retaliation – a big, dumb actionfest that had enough going on to distract you from its flaws.

There’s no such defence for Olympus Has Fallen, a thriller that’s merely big and dumb.

You know you’re in the presence of a calamity when a film makes the recent Red Dawn remake look Bergman-esque.

After leading an assault on Washington DC, a rogue North Korean and his commandos storm the White House, codenamed Olympus.

They infiltrate the bunker below where the president (Aaron Eckhart) and his defence secretary (Melissa Leo) have taken refuge.

All that stands between the leader of the free world and those evil reds is a secret service man (Gerard Butler), while trying to keep the country up and running is Morgan Freeman as vice speaker of the House. Much like Independence Day, this is one of those films that glories in US landmarks being detonated but winds up being far less entertaining.

The story is a patchwork quilt of old ideas with the volume turned up to 11, while Butler just doesn’t have the chops for a role that Bruce Willis might have taken on 10 years ago.

As for the rest of the cast, they deliver their ropey dialogue with all the expression of a Speak & Spell whose batteries are about to run out.

And amid the post-9/11 paranoia, there’s a generally objectionable vein of misogyny running through with Leo’s character bearing the brunt of some exceptionally nasty torture techniques.

It’s a film of jaw-dropping, throw-your-hands-in-the-air, sweet Lordy mama stupidity – although it gets an extra star for its topicality.
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:15 am


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Film review: Olympus Has Fallen - a lumpy version of Die Hard but with Gerard Butler instead of Bruce Willis

I realise Bruce Willis can't be expected to carry the Die Hard franchise forever, but is Gerard Butler really the best substitute they can find? Because Olympus Has Fallen is a Die Hard picture in all but name, a slam-bang action thriller in which one man battles an impossible number of terrorists within a hijacked space to save America (and civilization with it).

Butler, almost eerily devoid of wit or charisma, plays Mike Banning, a US Secret Service agent who was on the President's security detail until a tragic accident got him demoted to a desk job.

Redemption is at hand, though, when the White House (codename: Olympus) is breached by a crack North Korean terrorist (Rick Yune) and his cohorts. How do they do this? By flying a very slow plane that lays waste to Washington DC and disguising their storm troops as tourists. Brilliant! Soon they have taken the President (Aaron Eckhart) and his staff hostage in the basement and demand American withdrawal from South Korea.

Nukes are suddenly in play. (The lumpy script by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt has topicality, if nothing else.) The film's big symbolic moment is the sight of a bullet-ridden Old Glory floating down on to the Presidential lawn.

During the mayhem, Banning somehow infiltrates the White House and sets about his rescue mission, proving to these Oriental marauders that nothing beats a dose of brutal American kick- ass. He even dispatches one of them by crushing his skull with a bust of Lincoln – can you get more patriotic than that?

The film keeps nodding to Die Hard, even featuring a "Bill Clay" moment when Banning appears to have been fooled by a dastardly turncoat, but Antoine Fuqua's direction falls way short of the template in both humour and tension. Yippee-kai-Nay, I'm afraid.
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of OHF   Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:27 am

Found a good UK review- kind of.

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Olympus Has Fallen

The Gerard-Butler starring action flick is a derivative throwback to straightforward action movies

Will anyone welcome Kim Jong-Un’s flirtation with nuclear apocalypse? Well, Gerard Butler might, as the new Dear Leader has provided the mother of PR gifts to this piece of action-disaster cinematic imperialism.

Butler plays Mike Banning, head of the President’s security detail exiled to the treasury after the accidental death of the First Lady (Ashley Judd) before a team of Korean paramilitary guerrillas storm the White House, take the President (Aaron Eckhart) hostage in the bunker below the building and execute the Vice President live on air.

Thus Butler is left as America’s one-man army; armed with gun, knife and clichéd comebacks, he looms through the now gutted corridors of power, engaging a very large number of Korean henchmen in a swaggering dance of death, intent on freeing the President - and with him all that is principled in the world - from the jaws of radical terror.

Director Antoine Fuqua took old rope and tied it in knots with the fraught, fierce Training Day, with Denzel Washington recast as the filthiest of dirty cops. Here, Fuqua has cast to type; Butler the straight arrow agent, Eckhart the callow, poster boy President, Morgan Freeman the world-weary Speaker of the House, each impregnable in their valor.

Butler lacks the knocked-off humour of Bruce Willis or Mel Gibson; his is more of a solemn brutalism. He will stop to wince, mid-scene, as he pulls shards of glass from his torso, before continuing gruffly on, while the film pauses and a drum-martial score plays over a blood-red sky and a bullet-ridden American flag flutters to the floor.

It would be easy to crinkle your nose at such a film; it’s derivative, it’s cheesy, it’s fantastically unconvincing, its patriotism unabashed, its politics reductive, its morals binary. Yet it’s also imbued with a strange, nostalgic seduction; a throwback actor in a throwback movie appealing to a throwback time when we accepted good guys and bad guys for what they always were; myths of a dominant culture.


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