The recipe for a good action movie is fairly simple: You need a believable, if not intelligent, premise; a seemingly undefeatable villain; and an unlikely, albeit handsome and hunky, hero. This movie has that in spades. Yes, it requires a certain willing suspension of disbelief, but don’t all action movies? I am happy to report that Gerard Butler must have fired his agent, as he has transitioned from crappy romantic comedy protagonist to spot-on action hero, a role for which he is much better suited.
The plot is your basic deal. A North Korean terror group has seized control of the White House (I know, you just have to go with it) and is holding the president (Aaron Eckhart) and several high-ranking diplomats hostage in the bunker. Meanwhile, our unlikely hero, Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Butler), watches the attack from the Treasury Department. You see, months before, he was unable to save the First Lady after a tragic car accident and was relegated to a desk job. If you’re guessing that Mike suits up, storms the White House and saves the day…well, I don’t want to give anything away.
On a personal note, I have to say that if having to decide between sacrificing three or four high-ranking government officials and withdrawing the Seventh Fleet, the choice seems fairly obvious--but just go with it. It’s a 7.