Olympus Has Fallen was a fabulous movie! I loved it. I didn’t realize that it was an Antoine Fuqua film until the end. but I wasn’t surprised. I have enjoyed most of his movies. There are always these twists that get me thinking…[SPOILER ALERT]
The Secretary of Defense, Ruth McMillian played by Melissa Leo had a heroic scene of the kind that is regularly played by men: The future of the whole world is at stake. The terrorists want the codes to the CEREBRUS system to deactivate the nuclear weapons. But the SecDef won’t give up the codes. She takes a beating like a woman. She is prepared to die for her country. But the (male) president orders her to give up her code. He swears that they won’t be able to get his – they need three codes. He does not let her die for her country like a soldier. I wondered if it had anything to do with her being a woman.
To be fair, he had already ordered the male Admiral to give up his code after the terrorists put a knife to his throat and starting cutting, saying the same thing. He, the President wouldn’t give up the code – even though he knew that his son was out there somewhere and the terrorists were looking for him to use him as leverage. Maybe the President wasn’t sexist, maybe he was just cocky. He was so convinced that he could hold out if he was tortured.
But they didn’t torture him. They hacked his code. They had time to hack just one. And he had ordered his subordinates to turn over the other two codes already. And because he didn’t let the female SecDef go out like a hero he put the nation and the world at risk. The terrorists activated the failsafe and began the process of detonating all our nuclear weapons in their silos to turn our country into a nuclear wasteland.
Of course, this set the scene so the male hero could save the day. And he did it big time, with style, humor, panache, guts, glory, and a ridiculously high body count. It was a great movie but it could have gone a whole other way if the POTUS hadn’t had a fit of paternalistic patriarchy and let the SecDef take one for the team and give her life for her country. Maybe next time Mr. Fuqua.