ANDREW COLLINS:FILM OF THE DAY Olympus Has Fallen★★★ 9.00-11.15pm C5
Of the two bombastic White House siege thrillers released in 2013, Olympus Has Fallen won the battle, in that it was released first, but White House Down won the war, as it was better. The first, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer), pits beefcake Gerard Butler’s disgraced presidential bodyguard against North Korean terrorists who want the nuclear code. In 1980s Die Hard style — except without the humour — one man is sufficient to save the day; Butler’s quest is aided by a series of secret White House tunnels and complicated by President Aaron Eckhart’s son, a bargaining chip. August stars Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster and Melissa Leo add gravitas to the political and military class, but it’s Butler’s show, all shoulders and personal demons. It’s violent and cruel in places, but you’ll want to know how it’s resolved, especially with its follow-up, London Has Fallen, released in UK cinemas today. Thereafter, seek out White House Down and enjoy Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in the hero/President roles, having bags more fun.
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