Director: Antonie Fuqua
Writers: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett
MPAA: R – Strong Violence and Language
This movie delivers a raw sense of an uncomfortable, potential reality. The warm and fuzzy introduction doesn’t last long, as one of the presumed main supporting characters is killed. From this point forward the scene transitions are choppy, leaving a bit of uncertainty to the direction of the film.
As expected with a violent action movie there were a few grotesque and intense moments. The well played dark sense of humor did lighten the visual impact during a few of the gory scenes. There were a few subtle historical war references creating an interesting twist in the movie. The most apparent was the hesitation to shoot down a foreign aircraft as it entered a restricted White House no-fly zone. As the plane’s wing clipped the Washington Monument, it crumbled like the New York Twin Towers. The crumbling of the Monument scene was repeated about three times. The repetition of the video, is similar to the footage of 911 in a visual sense and that it takes a repetitive review to believe it.
When the terrorists storm through a destroyed White House, they pass a painting of President John F. Kennedy with his head down in disappointment. A quiet reminder of his many struggles to prevent communism from entering into South Korea and South Vietnam.
As the terrorists execute the South Korean Prime Minster, it’s done with the exact same position and expression as the war’s most unforgettable image in 1968 the street execution of Nguyen Van Lem. There were a few brief and subtle references to ponder. As what if General McCarthy was successful in the invasion of North Korea and wasn’t fired for failing to “respect the authority of the President.” However, it was the right decision to suggest but not complete the reference as it is understood that confronting Morgan Freeman is a losing proposition.
The visual effects and stunts blended well into our Hollywood programed reality. There were a few questionable survival scenes, such as being blown through a floor and sustaining minor injuries without a morning coffee.
This movie is geared for the war historian, action junkie and those that believe in the strength of compassion. Throughout history the United States has created and/or entered into challenging situations due to the cultural belief in humanity. When compassion balances on the brim of vulnerability it becomes true power.