Friday, March 21, 2014
Ingenuity makes all 'entertaining' difference between WHITE HOUSE DOWN and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN
REVIEW by Hilath
Not surprisingly, Fuqua has even outdone Emmerich in staging action more dramatically; the way the black hawks fall are perhaps more dramatically staged than Ridley Scott's Oscar-nominated BLACK HAWK DOWN on the failed American attack on Somalia terrorists in Mogadishu. While Scott had less technology in 2001, nevertheless the creative way Fuqua staged the falling of the black hawks is still impressive although he had the technology last year. I guess this is a basic difference why I found TITANIC's singular sinking more impressive at a time of no such visual effects in 1997 than PEARL HARBOR's multiple vessel sinking at the time when such visual effects were available in 2001.
I particularly liked the series of fist fights (perhaps due to the slick editing?) and if I had any doubts why Fuqua did not employ a heart throb like Channing Tatum to sell the movie, I have to say his choice of Gerard Butler is great - given his ability not only to act better but also emerge as a great action hero, too.
Other things that differ between the two movies is that, unlike Tatum, Butler is as brutal as the terrorists as he murders them in cold blood - and reminded me of Orson Scott Card's Ender who makes sure that the enemy "gets the message" and does not rise to create trouble again.
Both Emmerich and Fuqua's movies have children and though Fuqua does not give a lead role to the presidential son but only uses him to set a turning point in the movie, Emmerich's heroic daughter of Tatum seems given a heroic role in order to please a children and adolescent audience - who are usually fans of Emmerich's films like INDEPENDENCE DAY and GODZILLA.
Perhaps Fuqua emerges the winner in this 'presidential' race (is it a coincidence that the two rival films on an attack on the White House came out in the same year?) due to the more dark and engaging - not to mention - brutal story that is appropriate for such a concept. However, I only say this because Fuqua's story is more entertaining because in both films' cases, I've wondered how an attack on the White House can be carried, because in the TV anchor's words in Fuqua's movie, the White House is indeed the "most protected place on earth".
And this is where I found both movies' plots implausible though Fuqua's is more entertaining due to the way the terrorists are shown to use advanced technology - including sonar that prevents missile attacks. (A commentator to the above YouTube trailer comparison says we should not take these two movies seriously and says Fuqua is guilty of doing this in service of pure entertainment).
Though the United States was not anticipating that such an attack like September 11 can happen, I am sure after that it must be now prepared and therefore, the White House cannot be as easily attacked as both films show. But I still think that if there is a full scale World War 3, the US can be attacked like in PEARL HARBOR, even though at the time, as director Michael Bay said, Americans were "innocent and naive" and therefore was not expecting an attack by the Japanese in World War 2.