Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Rick Yune
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Written By: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 59 min
So North Korean terrorists take over the White House, and hold the President of the United States hostage. Thankfully, the presidents buddy Mike (Gerard Butler) manages to shoot his way into the action, and typically, ends up being the only man left standing. Mike Banning, the only man between the terrorists and their plans to blow stuff up. Yeah! Obviously the North Koreans did not see Die Hard before planning this attack. Because once they realized they had a lone Scotsman, oops I meant American secret service agent running around. They would have surrendered. But *sigh* they don’t, and for nearly two very violent hours we’re treated to some pretty ridiculous stuff.
The problems with this film start about thirty minutes in. When all logic is thrown out the window and the North Koreans attack. How they orchestrate their attack to take the White House just simply couldn’t happen. To accept this as even remotely plausible you wouldn’t just have to suspend disbelief – you’d need Mike to shoot it for you! Also, during the more massive set pieces it becomes clear this crew didn’t have a huge effects budget. As planes and helicopters crash into various iconic US capital buildings, the low res CGI is obvious and a little distracting. Add to that just how cliched the plot is, and you might wonder why you didn’t use your spare two hours re-watching Die Hard.
It’s not all bad though. As I said before, the problems didn’t start until the thirty minute mark. Prior to that, the film does a pretty decent job setting up the players in this story. Gerard Butler is also a very convincing hero, and most of the smaller action set pieces are well staged and executed.
So this is Die Hard at the White House, but not nearly as good. If you’re looking for a lot of action then this film certainly delivers on that front. It is very violent, and has a huge bloody body count. Keep your expectations low, and you might have fun with this. I personally found it unintentionally funny at times.
Because of the cheap effects, a regular dvd or streaming show will do.
Best element for me:
Gerard Butler is very decent in this. With a better plot, and a larger budget I wouldn’t rule out watching more Mike Banning adventures.