In 2013, Gerard Butler starred in Olympus Has Fallen, in which terrorists storm the White House like they're in the battle of Helm's Deep and take the staff hostage. Even if you've never seen Olympus Has Fallen or any of the other subsequent Has Fallen sequels, if you're a fan of this site, then you're familiar enough with the genre to guess how it plays out -- The White House is overrun. The police and Secret Service are unable to stop them. At the final hour, Butler shows up to save the day with glorious stubble and a no-nonsense attitude. Morgan Freeman is there.
You get it. You've seen this movie a million times before. It's the height of action-hero fantasy played out in a ridiculous, Hollywood-ified scenario. At least, it used to seem like a ridiculous, Hollywood-ified scenario that terrorists would be able to overrun a government building on foot, in broad daylight, like they're leading a charge on Sparta. But now, thanks to the events of January 6th, 2021, in which Trump-supporting rioters breached the Capitol building and tore the halls of Congress to shit, Olympus has Fallen suddenly hits a little different. If anything, the unrealistic part in Olympus Has Fallen is how tough a time the terrorists had it. I mean, take a look at these clips from the movie:
The assault caught the White House security force completely unaware, yet the insurrectionists are still met with armed guards and attack dogs. They have to bust open the gates with RPGs. They need an armored assault vehicle to break through a police blockade. Now compare that with what happened on Wednesday.
It's just a few dudes with batons. Forget having attack dogs. The security detail for our nation's legislative stronghold doesn't even have the fast-acting alarm you get with ADT. Why did the Has Fallen terrorists bother with bazookas? They could have just grabbed a stick and broken through the windows.
Armored assault vehicles? Who needs em? Just ask the police nicely, and they'll let you through the gates.
Of course, maybe that wouldn't have worked since the terrorists in Olympus Has Fallen were North Korean, and the ones attacking the Capitol on Wednesday were um ... well, look at the videos and see if you can pick out a common theme.
There's a lot of questions to be asked here: How is it that a small collection of Paul Blarts is the only thing defending Congress from capture? Why are the police so docile when fighting against a government coup but so vicious when fighting against Black Lives Matter?
How do we as a country go forward? I have the answers to none of these questions. It's hard enough for me to figure out if we need to recharacterize the films in the Has Fallen franchise. But I hope someone has answers to all of this soon. Oh, wait ...
Top Image: Millennium Films