Only slightly propaganderish, OHF tells the story of a major terrorist hit executed by some very disgruntled Koreans. Wisely, the producers/writers did not give the baddies a specific political allegiance and so they don't belong to either the South or North of Korea. Instead they are portrayed as an independent faction, ready and able to wage war on the lawn of one of the most guarded houses in the world.
Gerard Butler plays Mike Banning, the former head of the secret service detail that looked after the President of the United States - who also happens to be his good friend. But when an unforeseen accident leaves the President’s wife dead, Banning is exiled to a nobody-cares department, though Banning did save the life of the President. The following attack and semi-obliteration of the White House brings Banning back from the outskirts of the Presidents presence and in order to save him Banning eventually faces Kang, the ruthless aggressor played brilliantly by Rick Yune.
Gerard Butler as a lead is usually likeable and nothing changes here, matching his performance note for note is Rick Yune who thankfully doesn’t take the route that so many silver screen action villains do which is to go into pantomime. Admittedly there are some flashes of scenes from similar movies that come into mind when watching OHF, but it can be easily forgiven – I mean c’mon it’s a generic action flick.
"The producers and director/producer Antoine Fuqua know their product well and give us enough emotional content, enough action and enough sense in the script to have an enjoyable watch."
With a running time of 2 hours most of what you see in OHF is necessary to:
a) get you caring about the characters and
b) make you realise that the villains are a serious threat, which is becoming a lost art form, if you think I kid watch Die Hard 5.
With these types of films it is hard not to end up following a dot-to-dot of clichés, but at least OHF doesn’t trip over them. The producers and director/producer Antoine Fuqua know their product well and give us enough emotional content, enough action and enough sense in the script to have an enjoyable watch. The taking of the White House is the scene of scenes, but watching the moronic decisions made by the Presidents staff is the worst foolishness of all, how in the hell did they get their jobs?
OHF is a worthy watch and will fulfil your action fix, but it won’t blow your mind for originality or inventiveness.