I’ve been home sick the past few days, and you know what that means: movie time! (It’s important to have things to look forward to when you’re sick. For me, at least.) A film that I’d seen pop up on Netflix is Olympus Has Fallen: the White House gets taken by North Korean terrorists, and it’s up to King Leonidas–sorry, Gerard Butler–to save the day. Since watching The West Wing, I’ve been up for pretty much any White House-related piece of media, so why not this?
And I could have done a lot worse, really. It delivered on its absurd premise. There were lots of explosions, and reality didn’t get in the way of plot. I’d give the film three stars, because I’m feeling generous.
But because I’m lying in bed and have some time on my hands, I couldn’t help think about the plot some more. (Note to self: as soon as “think about the plot” and “Olympus Has Fallen” occur in close proximity, you’re asking for trouble.) I don’t think I’m spoiling anything for you fine people out there. (Because first off, the movie’s predictable as all get out. And second, it’s R-rated for language, which eliminates a lot of you as well.) But here’s the deal: terrorists take the White House. And the nation grinds to a halt.
And I’m like, really?
So they took the White House (and the President and VP hostage), but . . . really? They demand that we leave South Korea, and this is a matter of no little debate? Isn’t this why we have a chain of command? But wait–it’s not that simple. Because there’s this Cerberus device that can deactivate all our nukes, and the pres, vice pres, and secretary of defense have the codes, and they’re all hostages. So first the terrorists torture the vice pres, and he’s being stalwart, but the President can’t stand seeing him hurt, so he orders him to give the code. “Don’t worry,” says the pres. “They’ll never get my code.”
So then they torture the Secretary of Defense, and she’s being all stalwart too. Until the pres says, “Give it to ’em. They’ll never get my code.”
Because he’s just proved that he can’t stand seeing his people tortured. So what did he think would happen? Do the terrorists have a “only torture each person one time and one time only” rule that means they won’t just resume said torture when they want to get the president to give up his code?
Here’s how I see this going down in real life. First off, there’s no way that the White House is getting held hostage. But if it were, we’d do a whole lot of no negotiating and move on. This country isn’t about one man or woman–and thank goodness it’s not.
But like I said, I’m really reading too much into this movie by thinking about it at all. All I wanted was something that would distract from sick, and it did that admirably.