Time for another comparison review. This time, it's between the two "White House in peril" movies that came out last year Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down. Olympus Has Fallen came out first, but White House Down started production first.
1.) Leading men: Channing Tatum, the lead of White House Down, is a very frustrating actor. Half the time he's good, the other half you want to see him immolated on-screen. Here, he's not bad enough to deserve burning, but he's not very good. The same can't be said for Gerard Butler, the lead of Olympus Has Fallen, who's just awful. A few months ago, I made a list of the five celebrities I hated the most and Gerard found himself at seventh place. His placement is mostly due to his performance in this film. Less bad: White House Down
2.) The man in chief: Jaime Foxx is bland as the president in White House Down. It's incredibly obvious that he's just here for a paycheck. Even more bland and paycheck-hungry is Aaron Eckhart as the president in Olympus Has Fallen. Especially during the scenes where his character is supposed to emoting. Less bad: White House Down
3.) Annoying children: Inexplicably, the makers of action movies still feel the need to put annoying children in their movies. It's obvious that they're not going to die and 99.99% of the time the child actor is awful. The annoying child in White House Down is Channing Tatum's daughter played by Joey King. She has a lot more screen-time than the annoying child in Olympus Has Fallen, who's the president's son. Overall, the president's son is more annoying but, since he has a lot less screen-time, I have to give Olympus Has Fallen the edge here. Less bad: Olympus Has Fallen
4.) Main villain: The main villain of White House Down is James Woods' character. He wants to blow up the Middle East because his son died fighting over there and he has a massive brain tumor. Woods gives a bad performance, but he's still a lot better than Kang, the villain of Olympus Has Fallen. He wants to destroy America because his mother died because of an American landmine. What makes his plan moronic is that he aligned himself with North Korea, who executed his father. So he'd rather take out the country that accidentally killed one of his parents than the country that deliberately killed one of his parents. At least Woods has the excuse of having a brain tumor. Less bad: White House Down
5.) Villainous mooks: The mooks of White House Down are a bunch of white trash neo-Nazi skinheads. The mooks of Olympus Has Fallen are the North Korean army. It's very implausible that white trash neo-Nazi skinheads would be able to infiltrate the White House even with help from the inside. However, this is a billion times more plausible than North Koreans infiltrating the White House. North Korea has one of the most horrifically bad armies in the world. The very idea that they'd be able to attack the White House is laughable. Even worse, at one point it's stated that without America's help, South Korea would get taken over by North Korea within three days. In reality, if North and South Korea ever fought, South Korea would obliterate the North. Less bad: White House Down
6.) The script: I could go into detail about both scripts and which is worse, but the fact that the writer of Olympus Has Fallen thinks North Korea is an actual threat ruins any intelligent thought they could ever come up with. Less bad: White House Down
7.) Unintentional comedy: White House Down is a goldmine of unintentional comedy. Lines like "I choose the pen" are said with straight faces, but the coup de grace of unintentional comedy is the end where the day is saved thanks to Channing Tatum's daughter's flag-twirling skills! Olympus Has Fallen, on the other hand, is BORING! The only unintentionally funny part was the "pledge of allegiance" scene. Less bad: White House Down
8.) Directing: In 2001, Antoine Fuqua directed Training Day, a movie better than everything else Roland Emmerich has done. All of his other movies, on the other hand, have sucked. He can't direct action to save his life. Emmerich, the slightly competent Michael Bay, can direct action. Less bad: White House Down
9.) Overall entertainment: Olympus Has Fallen is a boring film with a stupid villain, a moronic understanding of world events, an unlikable leading man, and awful action scenes. White House Down is a hilarious (if unintentional) film with a slightly smarter villain, a slightly likable leading man and great action scenes. Less bad: White House Down
The fact that Olympus Has Fallen out-grossed White House Down is a shame. Less bad: White House Down
Olympus Has Fallen: D
White House Down: B
Next-up: Joel Schumacher's Flawless!!!
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