White House Down Vs. Olympus Has Fallen: A Comparative Study


If you happen to be the President of The United States, 2013 is not your year. Barack, if you’re reading this, stock up on UP&GOs, lock the door of the Oval Office and hide under the desk – the terrorists are coming and it’s going to be both mildly entertaining and high-grossing.

White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen carry on the long held tradition of coming out with the exact same movie in the very same year (See; Dante’s Peak/Volcano, Deep Impact/Armageddon, Antz/A Bug’s Life, Jurassic Park/Schindler’s List). Both films, fairly obviously, are about a bunch of baddies taking down the Presidential crib – but why see both? Aren’t they the exact same movie? I’ve taken time out of my busy schedule to watch both of these modern classics and put together a comparative study. The words you’re looking for are “thank you”.

The Name

Let’s start with the name. You know what you’re getting with White House Down. The White House is going to go down. Down, down. Prices are down. It’s all there in the title. However, from the outset, there is at least a little ambiguity about the theme of Olympus Has Fallen. Is it about ancient Greece? Is it about someone dropping their digital camera? No and sort of.

Winner: Olympus Has Fallen

The President

white-house-down-vs-olympus-has-fallenAh, a difference. Let’s start with Olympus Has Fallen. Aaron Eckhart (white guy) plays President Asher, the strong, honest, leader of the people. Gee he loves America. LOVES it. Get a room. On the other hand, we have Jamie Foxx (black guy) playing President Sawyer, who is pretty much Obama with glasses. He is also fond of America and, in particular, former President and current skeleton, Abraham Lincoln. He too is strong, proud, loyal and unable to be corrupted. Funny that.

While Foxx is funny, Eckhart is a badass. They both have their strengths. It goes without saying you would take either of these guys over Abbott or Rudd any day of the week.

Winner: Tie

The Hero

Tina Turner once screamed, “We don’t need another hero”, but in this case, we at least need one hero or the President will be dead. So sit down Tina, you know nothing.

Gerard-Butler-Olympus-Has-FallenWhen it comes to selecting the right guy to singularly save the free world from total annihilation, look no further than Gerard Butler. The people making Olympus Has Fallen didn’t and that was wise. His resume speaks for itself – the raw brutality he displayed in 300, the quick wit and fast draw from RocknRolla, the unrivalled understanding of a woman’s desires from P.S. I Love You – who else would you get?

white-house-down-channing-tatumOn the other hand, those tasked with piecing White House Down together decided on none other than Channing Tatum. Magic fucking Mike. Don’t get me wrong, Channing Tatum might be a great guy. He actually plays the hero role quite well. But you can’t compare him to Gerard Butler. Settling for Channing Tatum when you could have Gerard Butler is like settling for Red Rooster when you could have Oporto, but to do so you need to run across a busy road. Just cross the road dickhead, you’ll thank yourself later.

Winner: Olympus Has Fallen

The Terrorists

olympus has fallen 2Who’s worse, North Koreans or US Rednecks? It’s not a question I’ve asked myself before, but it’s certainly the question Hollywood is asking.  Olympus Has Fallen gives us ultra-organised, super-aggressive North Koreans, taking directions from a few US traitors. White House Down gives us a domestic threat; US rednecks slighted by the government for various reasons, taking directions from a few US traitors. The Koreans are better to watch, but the rednecks offer a few laughs, which is exactly what you need to break the ice in situations like this. I liked the Koreans, but I’ll give this round to the rednecks. They’re lovable fools and allow you to believe that with a little hard work and determination, you too could storm the White House.

Winner: White House Down

The Attack

Do you like action? I mean non-stop, double-uzi, bullet-in-the-face, helicopter-slamming-into-a-building, throw-a-cat-into-a-ceiling-fan action? Me too. Well, you’ll love Olympus Has Fallen. Olympus Has Fallen is like a whole season of 24 condensed down to 2 hours. It’s like the good Die Hard movies. It’s like Air Force One but not in a plane.


The Koreans, god love ‘em, are a well-oiled machine. They attack the White House with the precision and aggression of a thousand 14-year-old Korean boys playing Call Of Duty. It’s fast, it’s raw, it’s relentless. There are bodies (oh my, how there are bodies) and, if I were Barack, I’d watch this and immediately make the White House gates 40 metres taller.

The attack in White House Down is lacklustre at best. It seems when rednecks want to take over what perhaps is one of the most heavily guarded buildings in the world, all they need is to hide in the AV room for a while, come out with a couple of guns, shoot a fat security guard and boom, you’ve taken over the White House. Come now. Put your back into it.

Winner: Olympus Has Fallen

Everyone Else

Morgan Freeman is in Olympus Has Fallen. No contest.

Winner: Olympus Has Fallen


Let’s face it; neither of these movies is going to be the best thing you’ve ever seen. However, are they the worst? Absolutely not. If you put down your soy latte and take off your dark-rimmed, weak-prescription glasses for a minute, you’ll notice that there is nothing wrong with sitting back and taking in a cheesy action movie with more one-liners than a Tim Vine marathon.


The clear winner is Olympus Has Fallen. It has the better hero. It has the better action. It has the better helicopters slamming into the better buildings. It has the better facial expressions. It has the better faces on which to put the better facial expressions. It’s just better.

In saying that, White House Down is funnier. White House Down has better cheesy one-liners. White House Down has Lance Reddick, the man with the greatest face in history.

What would I do? Thanks for asking. I’d watch them both back-to-back. You heard me. Get amongst them both, immerse yourself in cheeseburgers and freedom and sit back and enjoy the ride.


White House Down: 6/10

Olympus Has Fallen: 7/10

About The Cat

The Cat spends almost all his time sitting cross-legged on the cold floor of a small, rented flat working hard on his script for a motion picture adaptation of the 90's video game "Lemmings".
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43 Responses to White House Down Vs. Olympus Has Fallen: A Comparative Study

  1. Gareth Lloyd says:

    I think rednecks taking over is far more cheesier than Koreans doing so. haven’t seen white house down but after read reading this I’m happy to have seen olympus has fallen and come to the conclusion that this is a much better film than white house down.

  2. antiracist says:

    I don’t have much preference regarding the cast, but I think Butler matches a bit more with the cheesy humor that was present on WHD, he’s sort of the new Bruce Willis in a way. WHD had a somewhat better plot in some regards but some jokes were somewhat out of place, too much of a comic relief. I don’t get why the hacker guy exploded, though. OHF in the other hand had something somewhat stupid near the end, I don’t quite remember exactly, but was something along the lines of the hero doing something idiotic just for the sake of having a knuckle-fight with the villain, when that could have easily been avoided. Somewhat like on that Lethal Weapon with the kung fu villain, but even weaker, as there’s no the-guy-is-kinda-crazy excuse. Not as bad as the gratuitous fight on “Jack Reacher”, though.

  3. msafwan says:


    • msafwan says:

      Olympus Have Fallen seems to be a bit slow. It have lots of pew-pew-pew(!) but its kind of dragging this stuff for too long. Its not memorable, I can’t remember most of the movie anymore.

      Then I watched White House Down after about a month:
      White House Down is quite fast pace. The scene doesn’t stuck in same place for too long and the villain is more interesting because their character move forward in the movie like protagonist do. The script is well researched (full of trivia about White House & ideas) and less fictional (no futuristic weapon) unlike Olympus Have Fallen.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear on the couch, with a clarification like Jamie Foxx (black guy) & Aaron Eckhart (white guy) one would think your american but I guessing aussie…pull your head. Scratching my head on Jurassic Park/Schindler’s List as well.

    Other than that fare enough on the comments. One question I do have…how is it that hollywood comes out with 2 very similar moves from 2 producers (sony & millennium), is that just a coincidence, producers from the same boss or perhaps theft…casue I assume movie/script theft is deemed illegal in the holltwood world.

    Cheers Mike

  5. Anonymous says:

    I cried stars and screamed spangled banners when watching both movies. How I wish I was American.

  6. Ed says:

    The best film review I have ever read.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Very biast review.

    All that needs said.

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  9. gerard butler is scottish you american numpty

  10. Thanks for this Monsieur le Chat. I was looking at White House Down thinking haven’t we watched that???? When in reality I’d seen Olympus Has Fallen. Fabulous movie. However I too don’t get the connection between Jurassic Park and Schindlers list? Am I missing something. German persecution and Dinosaurs. – you got me scratching my head. Otherwise good write. I am a pushover for Liam Neeson – Schindlers List and of course the other hot Irish fellow Gerrard Butler.

  11. freddy says:

    olympus has fallen is far far far better

  12. aware says:

    seeding consciousness with fear

  13. Anonymous says:

    seeding the public’s consciousness with fear

  14. Gunsen Roces says:

    Mr. Writer, you must be kidding me. WHD has more action and has Air Force One (it literally went down in the movie right?), Fast and the Furious (saw that heavy ass Cadillac fly off the lawn into that pool upside down?), The Rock (missiles and more missiles, heck, those Javelins really put those Black Hawks Down (pun intended) better than the ‘Hydra’ in OHF; and any other action hit you can think of. Plus I like the play of the transition of power (from Sawyer to the VP to the old guy who played Speaker.) and the twist (who knew the Speaker was in it too)

    If anything, OHF is a more raw, down-to-earth interpretation of the same story with all that drama you can find in most TV series. It’s in the emotions it draws out of the audience, like how they set the tone when they killed off the First Lady in the beginning, and how despair took over the White House and the Capitol itself (the dead and the wounded, etc.). It was more of like watching ER, 24, and Homeland.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Olympus has Fallen is all around the better movie with more believability over all.

  16. Scaramanga says:

    @anonymous You have no idea about Pavlov’s dog now, do you?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I never thought that Jurrasic Park and Schindler’s List was the same movie, thanks for educating me.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of Tina Turner, Angela Basset is in Olympus has fallen – clear winner!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    White House Down didn’t take itself as seriously as Olympus has Fallen; it reminded me of Die Hard. Much more fun to watch than the bleak seriousness that makes Olympus has Fallen a bit of slog.

    • Bobby says:

      White House Down didn’t take anything seriously. It was awful on so many levels. Olympus Has Fallen crushed it in every category! It would be more comparable to Die Hard than White House Down which could be compared to any spoof movie like Hot Shots but the problem with that is that WHD wasn’t supposed to be a spoof. It’s just bad!

      They’re not even in the same league. Unless you’re in the mood to just laugh at something so bad that tries to be serious but fails completely with terrible and over the top acting, cheesy dialog that you’ll see in any current Steven Seagal B movie or a less believable scrip then by all means… watch White House Down. The movie where even Jamie Foxx’s credibility for what he did in Ray was completely diminished. Like where his agents are killed and he had such a casual reaction, not surprise, stunned or shocked… but also not upset or scared. Or when Channing Tatum is kicking a guy after he was knocked out saying, “yeah, take that” or something similar to that level like he’s a street thug instead of a trained agent/officer. You never saw Gerard Butler do anything nearly that cheesy in Olympus Has Fallen. OHF was far better and it’s based off factual evidence, not an opinion.

      Was your favorite Godfather movie part 3? Did you like Rocky 5 the best? That’s the kind of crappy taste it would take to think that White House Down was better than Olympus Has Fallen.

  20. Anonymous says:

    mga tanga

  21. Anonymous says:

    both are really good, but in olympus has fallen the deaths look faker

  22. Anonymous says:

    Olympus Has Fallen is way better !! everyone needs to hop off Tatum’s YOU KNOW WHAT …. his acting was bad in White House Down !!

    • Anonymous says:

      His acting is terrible in every other movies I’ve seen.

      • Anonymous says:

        Jump Street Movies = Huge Success

        Your Opinion = Incorrect.

        You may think his acting is bad but that is YOUR opinion.
        That does not mean that his overall acting skills are bad,
        You are very wrong here.

        • Anonymous says:

          OH please don’t equate the success of a film which is based on many things included over funded effects and media coverage, to acting skills. Many many movies have had monetary success yet the acting and story of the film were subpar.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous is most def. Drunk….rofl!!!!!

  24. Dicker says:

    Olympus also has more snare drum

  25. Anonymous says:

    you got the titles mixed up on a lot of them… you said morgan freeman, then you said the winner is olympus, when he was in white house doown.. double check please

    • Emmanuel says:

      Anonymus… really?? a bit drunk?? Morgan Freeman wasn`t in white house down.. that was jamie fox.. Now don’t go saying they all look the same you biggot! Morgan Freeman was the speaker of the house in Olympus has fallen, fact is, he even posted a picture of Morgan Freeman in the pentagon situation room.

    • The Cat says:

      Apologies Anonymous. I’m sure Morgan Freeman would have loved to be in both movies, however I believe he is only in Olympus Has Fallen. I’ll also direct you to the poster for Olympus Has Fallen at the top of this page. Morgan Freeman is there. In the middle. Judging you. And your logic.

      Kind Regards.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not too bright buddy…

  26. Jess says:

    But which would you watch *first*?

  27. thomasmperry says:

    Freedom isn’t free. There’s a hefty fuckin’ fee.

    • The Cat says:

      I had that song as my ringtone on my Samsung D600 in 2006. Every time I hear it (which is rare these days, unfortunately) I think the phone is ringing. I’m like the telecommunications equivalent of Pavlov’s Dog.

    • Anonymous says:

      hefty hefty hefty, whimpy whimpy whimpy LOL sory couldnt help myself.

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