Mike Banning is President Asher’s head secret service agent. He’s close with the president, his wife Maggie, and his son Connor. During a heavy snow storm on the way to a fundraiser, the lead car in the President’s cavalcade is hit with a tree branch and skids out of control. The other cars slam into it, including the President’s car which is the second car of the cavalcade. The lead car crashes through a bridge railing and over the edge. The President’s vehicle slides halfway through the barrier and hangs precariously. Banning and other agents try to secure the car, but the President won’t leave. Maggie is severely injured and barely conscious. When it’s obvious the car is going to fall over the barricade, Banning takes his knife and cuts the President’s seat belt, freeing him, and drags him to safety. The rest of the occupants of the vehicle, including Maggie, careen to the frozen ice below and are assumed killed on impact. (Although no one rappels down there to check on them.)
18 months later, Banning is reassigned to office duty. The President, whose life he saved, can’t stand the sight of him because it reminds him of the night his wife Maggie died. The Prime Minister of South Korea arrives to speak with the President and immediately afterward things go downhill. A plane arrives in Washington D.C. air space (how it gets past all the radar is beyond me) and when approached by our fighter pilots just shoots them down. (This was way past unbelievable. Do they think we’re idiots?) The same plane shoots at least a hundred civilians lining the streets of the White House and then shoots the Secret Service staff outside the White House guarding it. (Again, not believable.)
The President’s Secret Service detail hears of the outside attack and immediately takes him to the bunker under the White House. He insists the South Korean Prime Minister be brought along with his security detail (who is the head terrorist). Banning, who works down the street from the White House at the Justice Department, sees the shooting plane and runs down the street to the White House. The Asian students out in front of the White House roll their backpacks to the front, grab their weapons and masks, and begin shooting. Banning kills one but another detonates a bomb inside his pack and drops everyone out front. The others proceed into the White House.
The plane flying overhead is finally shot down but takes out the Washington Monument as it crashes. A garbage truck approaches the White House and turns out to be an armored tank full of North Korean terrorists. They shoot missiles at the White House and kill what few security detail are alive. The last living Secret Service agent alerts the Pentagon with the words “Olympus has fallen” before he dies, meaning the White House has been taken.
The troops the Pentagon sent finally arrive at the White House, two minutes too late. (And I was very confused about why they didn’t just take it over then and there.) Banning is the only agent inside still alive. (Conveniently.) He disables the camera surveillance for the White House so the terrorists cannot see what’s going on inside the place. The head terrorist, Kang, has his terrorists patrol the hallways looking for the President’s son, Connor.
Banning gets inside, opens a combination safe in the President’s Oval Office, and takes the President’s satellite phone, contacting the Pentagon. They have brought the Speaker of the House there and he is Acting President. The Speaker tells Banning that they’ve been notified by NORAD that the first Cerberus code has been entered. Cerberus is apparently a fail safe device attached to our missile system to prevent accidental launch. Once all three codes have been activated, the launched missiles will not detonate. (Which doesn’t follow with the rest of the plot.)
The terrorists demand that the Seventh Fleet be recalled from South Korea and all U.S. troops be removed from the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ). They begin systematically going through the White House looking for Connor and killing anyone they find alive, meanwhile terrorizing and executing the hostages in the bunker. They beat up the Secretary of State (a woman) and get her launch code (the Secretary of War went down without any fight whatsoever).
Banning kills a few terrorists and finds Connor’s photo on one of them. He now knows they are looking for Connor. The President has the last launch code and they are going to use Connor as a means of forcing him to give it to them. Banning finds Connor first and gets him out through an air shaft too small for an adult but perfect for a kid. He tells the Pentagon and they get him from the outside. (Apparently there are no skinny Marines that can come into the White House through that shaft.)
His next mission is to find out the terrorists’ plans. He grabs two, ties them up, kills the first, and tortures the other until he talks. He finds out the leader is a terrorist from North Korea named Kang and they are planning on blowing up the United States. After they enter all three Cerberus codes the missiles (that have never been launched) will detonate in their silos with a blast radius that will kill every American. (Gee, that doesn’t sound logical with how they described Cerberus in the beginning.)
Kang is pissed that Banning is running around killing his little terrorists so he sends out a former Secret Service agent turned traitor, Forbes, to kill him. When Banning comes across him, he figures out he’s the traitor pretty quickly and they fight. Banning wins and convinces Forbes to radio Kang and tell him he’s killed Banning before he dies. (Confusing and unconvincing, huh?)
The military orders a full out assault on the White House starting with five stealth helicopters full of Navy SEALS. They are spotted by a drone plane that the North Korean terrorists deployed when they took over the White House. They never make it to the White House; they’re killed trying to get there with a weapon the terrorists have called Hydra 6 which was apparently built by the U.S. military (another plot hole left unexplained).
Kang gives the Speaker 60 minutes (one hour) to recall the Seventh Fleet, remove U.S. troops from the Korean DMZ, and send a helicopter for them to escape. The Speaker gives Banning thirty of those minutes to flush out Kang and the President. Banning begins by shutting down Kang’s ability to televise any more executions of hostages. So Kang drags the Secretary of State out onto the White House porch in half her clothes and gets ready to execute her. Banning shoots the executioner first and she gets away, but Kang has escaped back to the bunker. Now the Speaker has no choice but to comply with Kang’s demands. (Or does he? Blow up the White House before they get the third Cerberus code!)
Kang dresses the hostages and terrorists in black with black masks and chains, so they all look alike (like in the film Inside Man) and they get onto the helicopter. It explodes once in the air. Everyone assumes the President and Kang are dead along with all the terrorists and hostages. Except for Banning. The President is alerted that all Cerberus codes have been entered and they figure out that the missiles will be detonated inside their silos killing everyone in the U.S.
Banning finds his way to the bunker and attacks Kang as he’s ready to execute the President. He shoots him, but Banning kills Kang. The President tells Banning that Cerberus has been activated, so Banning goes to the computer and asks the Pentagon how to deactivate it. They walk him through it, just in time. ;) Lol. Banning lets the Pentagon know the President is alive and they walk out together (without bothering to see if there are any henchmen left in the building ready to shoot).
Plot holes galore but I still loved it. Gerard Butler really kicks ass as Banning. He’s got some moves for an old guy. And I love that he just kills the bad guys instead of talking them to death or “arresting” them so they can kill again another day. Eight out of ten stars. Worth buying on demand.
Olympus Has Fallen Movie Trailer