June 25, 2024

It was the year 2013 Die Hard the franchise finally met its bitter end. Despite the 2007 views Live free or die hard they were mixed, the loud response of 2013 A Good Day to Die Hard it was that, in the end, this franchise would leave Hans Gruber in his grave. It was getting funnier to watch John McClane (Bruce Willis) was brought in to solve another international crisis, and the fifth episode of the series was clearly not worthy of Willis’ talent. However, Die Hard the great influence followed in the same film season, with two within a few months Die Hard-Action films that were updated for modern audiences. Amazingly, they had the same stage: the White House in Washington DC.Olympus has fallen and The White House Down.


Director Antoine Fuqua, Olympus has fallen It follows Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) on President Benjamin Asher’s detail (Aaron Eckhart); Although the two were once quite close, the relationship has never been the same after Banning saved Asher from a car accident, but failed to save his wife from death. Roland Emmerich‘s The White House Down It follows capital city police officer John Cale (Channing Tatum) when he goes to the White House to interview for a position on President James Sawyer’s personal protection detail (Jamie Foxx); while it would be a huge step forward in his career, it would also give him the ability to impress his daughter Emily.Joey King), he has not been able to have a relationship since his divorce.

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Of course, both films go about as well as you’d expect.”Die Hard in the White Houseā€ locally; they attack the capital, take the president hostage and put a hero in the style of John McClane on the front line and face insurmountable dangers. It was strange that two seemingly identical films were released so close to each other Olympus has fallen he walked in the middle of the previous March The White House Down It entered the summer movie season in June. This was often cited as an example of Hollywood’s lack of originality at the time, but none of these films were based on previously established properties; In 2023, it would be refreshing to see two old-school action movies that don’t take themselves too seriously amid the over-reliance on superhero movies and sequels. These two films represent different ways of approaching the action film genre, and have both become strangely underrated gems.

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How are ‘White House Down’ and ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ different?

Aaron Eckhart has fallen on Olympus
Image via Millenium Films

Although both films are dated in their approach, Olympus has fallen certainly fits in with the wave of overtly patriotic R-Rated blockbusters that were so successful in the 1990s. It’s a rough and brutal movie where Gerard Butler literally takes out a terrorist using a bust of Abraham Lincoln, and somehow delivers monologues like “let’s play play, go first” with a straight face. While the film unfortunately brings back the cultural baggage that came with 90s action movies with its slightly xenophobic Korean villain, it’s refreshingly not tongue-in-cheek. Instead of constantly trying to let the audience know that the characters are in on the joke, Fast and furious movies are known, Fuqua plays things so straight it’s almost absurd.

Conversely, The White House Down It’s classic Emmerich. The man likes to blow up famous monuments and after destroying the White House Independence Day, manages to wreak havoc on nearly all of the capital as Cale and Sawyer team up on a hilarious police adventure. Emmerich’s blockbusters seem to have waned in popularity after that 2012 and don’tbut The White House Down he shows us everything he does well. It’s happily silly, engaging Cale and Sawyer in a car chase that defies every law of physics imaginable. There’s also Emmerich’s out-of-place humor; Sawyer has to stop firing a rocket launcher at one point to adjust his glasses.

How do the teams from “Olympus Has Fallen” and “White House Down” compare?

However, both films work because of their leading men; Although not met with positive reviews at the time, Gerard Butler and Channing Tatum remain strong action stars ten years later. Butler essentially launched the subgenre of “guy in the wrong place” action movies Geostorm, Airplane, Greenlandand Thief’s bodyand Olympus has fallen it was the beginning of this era of unbelievable hilarity. Tatum learned The White House Down that he had a comedic knack for taking on more unremarkable action roles, and found great success with films like Jauzi calle 21 and The lost city

Both movies also have pretty great presidents; Both avoid going into too much detail about their policies or platforms (other than being really good guys), and include some personal moments from each that show why they’re good leaders. Asher has some intimate moments with his son where they bond over his summer reading, and Sawyer shows his kindness when he agrees to appear in a video for Emily’s class project. This creates tension when they are put in danger; Viewers not only have reasons to believe the country is improving, but they care on a personal level.

Blockbusters often given to young studio-influenced directors, it’s inspiring to see two action films so signature in style. Fuqua has a dirty intensity to his work Training Dayand there is that same touch on the ground Olympus has fallenhostage negotiation scenes. Emmerich rarely fails to deliver bombast; The final moments of Emily waving an American flag to attract the attention of the rescuers who might save the president’s life represent the familiar saccharine corniness. In the decade since, both have found success in one form or another; Fuqua continues to direct gritty thrillers the guilty and Southpawand Emmerich has at least found a cult fan base moon.

It’s always strange to see two films that are so similar come out in the same year; Armageddon and Deep impact is perhaps the most obvious example. Maybe Olympus has fallen it had the benefit of being done first, as it was successful in spawning two sequels; unfortunately, The White House Down underplayed Both films are simple, straightforward action films that are entertaining as well as agenda-free, and it’s interesting that a decade later those simple goals are rare.

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