Sunday afternoon, I took a couple of hours and indulged in this cinematic adventure starring Gerard Butler as Mike Banning, a Secret Service Agent that lost his edge, and the confidence of President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) after the First Lady dies in a freak accident under his watch.
Relegated to a lowly position elsewhere in federal bureaucracy of our nation’s capitol, Banning longs for his old position, not for the prestige of guarding the President, but because he liked the President’s son, Connor (Finley Jackson). Connor’s character was written as child overly interested in the inner workings of the Secret Service, which helped the story along, but was probably a bit overdone. The character could easily been written as a mischievous preteen boy and the character would have been every bit as believable as the rest of the movie, but I digress.
The movie quickly moves into overdrive of almost true to life news story, as North Korea beefs up their rhetoric of threatening South Korea. The South Korean Prime Minister arrives in Washington, D.C. and, within minutes, a series of attacks begin on the city.
Enter McClane. Er… Banning.
Banning quickly realizes that something is amiss and rushes to the White House, which was under a massive attack. He shoots his way up to the entrance to the White House, where he witnesses the demise of the majority of the White House security detail.
Meanwhile, President Asher and the South Korean Prime Minister are zipped to an underground bunker by the new lead Secret Service agent, Forbes (Dylan McDermott) and his South Korean counterpart, Kang (Rick Yune).
Banning continues making contact with the Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs (Angela Bassett) who is working with the Speaker of the House of Representatives (Morgan Freeman) and the military to formulate a plan to save the President.
Banning has another mission…. Find Connor.
This movie is about 90 percent “Die Hard” and about 10% “Lethal Weapon 4”.
Gerard Butler plays a pretty convincing Secret Service Agent. He’s got the “human” component going for him, which helps to develop his characters depth following the incident with the President’s wife. They also talk about his past military experience with the Special Forces and Rangers, which would gives a different angle on his character’s view of the world and the evil that is out there.
Regardless of what you think your kids can handle, no child under 17 should watch this movie. It is one of the most violent movies you will watch this year. With that said, it was entertaining. If you enjoy watching things blow up and just want to escape into 120 minutes of a shoot ‘em up, kicking, punching, Gerard Butler filled movie…. then this is your movie.