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When you see Gerard Butler slipping through the darkened hallways, taunting the bad guy over the phone and pulling off some insane stunts in the name of rescuing someone beloved to him, it's hard not to feel a little bit of deja vu. The formula of "lone guy in a building saving the day" has been replicated many, many times since the original Die Hard came out in 1988, but rarely as closely as Olympus Has Fallen, which essentially imagines what it would be like if it was the White House instead of Nakatomi Plaza.
Wondering if they hard John McClane haunting them during filming, I asked Olympus director Antoine Fuqua and Butler about their connection to Die Hard, as well as their commitment to their movie's hard R-rated violence. Take a look below:
The clip included in the film to show off the violence, with pedestrians cowering while under attack from a North Korean plane, doesn't really begin to express just how bloody and harrowing things get in Olympus Has Fallen. We see the Secretary of Defense, played by Melissa Leo, kicked in the stomach and dragged along the floor (all while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in protest). We see many, many of the North Korean invaders beaten to pulp by Gerard Butler, and in one case brained by a bust of Abraham Lincoln. But as you can probably tell in the video, I'm with Fuqua on his decision to go heavy on the violence. The circumstances in which the North Koreans are able to take down the White House are a little far-fetched, but by taking everything dead seriously, Fuqua and Butler sell it. The fact that Butler makes a pretty exceptional modern John McClane helps too-- especially since the latest outing by the real deal was so miserable.
For more on Olympus Has Fallen you can click here, or revisit the trailer below. It's in theaters everywhere this weekend.