Olympus has Fallen- The Mistakes

Olympus has Fallen is a excellent action romp with a feel good patriotic ending.  But…some artistic license has been taken to move the story a long.

SPOILER ALERT!!  I’m talking about the plot after the trailer.

[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/vwx1f0kyNwI”]

We’re not talking about bloopers or lack of continuity.  Here’s our list of stuff that would just not happen.

  • Right off the bat, the Secret Service doesn’t route the President over bridges.
  • The terrorists apparently use a AC-130 aircraft to begin the assault.  It’s a good choice if you want to chew up the landscape but it only shoots out the right side.  It doesn’t have hidden gun ports like an 18th century ship of the line.   The odds of shooting down an aircraft in flight is just about nil.  Two at the same time is science fiction.
  • I profess no knowledge of any plan that the Secret Service has for defending a ground attack on the White House but I’m pretty sure that running out to the porch to get shot is not one of them.
  • Although it appears to be a quaint colonial plantation house, the White House is one of the most fortified and armored buildings in the World.  Once closed, you can shoot RPG’s at the front door all day long and all you’ll do is interrupt the football game the Secret Service is watching inside.
  • The army quick reaction ground force might take 15 minutes to get to there, but the helicopter gunships would be there in  five and so would F-16’s with Mavericks and cluster bombs.
  • The garbage truck pill boxes were pure genius but you can bet the farm that there are anti-armor weapons in there that would be on the roof in a heartbeat.
  • When they move the President into the bunker one of the agents says that bringing the South Koreans with them isn’t protocol. Damn straight.  I don’t know where they’re going but it ain’t the bunker.
  • When the Koreans start shooting in the bunker where did they get the guns.  NO ONE gets inside the White House with a weapon.  Except the Secret Service.
  • When the SEALs go in they would destroy the anti-aircraft asset with overwhelming firepower.
  • Banning seems to have all the secret access codes for the White House.  He isn’t assigned there.  He would not have the codes, period.
  • The military is placed on DEFCON 4. That’s Defense Condition Four for you civilians.  DEFCON 4 calls for “Increased intelligence watch and strengthened  security measures ” .  the DEFCON deals with nuclear war.  DEFCON 1 is “nuclear attack in progress or imminent”.  DEFCON 5 is Peace and we have never been there. We were at DEFCON 2 during the Cuba Missile Crisis and DEFCON 3 during the War of Yom Kippur and on 9/11.
  • Speaking of nuclear weapons.  Blowing up our ICBMs in their silos would…well….blow them up in their silos.  No problemo, we have plenty more on submarines at sea right now.  There would be no nuclear detonations because the physics package in each warhead would not be active.  That’s part of the launch sequence that is done by the launch crew specifically to prevent the remote detonation used in the plot.


  • Oscar  Ortega-Hernandez  fired an “assault style weapon”  at the White House from the passenger window of a car.  One shot hit the window of the living quarters but did not penetrate the ballistic glass.  The second shot hit the wall and was found in the grass.  President Obama was not in residence at the time.  A witness told agents Ortega wanted to “hurt” Obama and referred to him as “the anti-Christ.” Another witness told investigators Ortega said he “needed to kill” Obama,
  • September 12, 1994- Frank Corder was killed when he crashed a Cessna 150 into the White House.  Skipping once on the lawn, the aircraft impacted the White House below the President’s bedroom.  President Clinton and family were in Blair House due to White House repairs.  The incident caused minor damage to the White House.
  • October 29, 1994, Dressed in a trench coat, Francisco Duran went up to the fence overlooking the north lawn of the White House and fired an AK-47 at people standing on the lawn.  Civilians jumped him and pinned him down until he was arrested.  No one was injured and President Clinton was inside watching football on TV.
  • 20 January 1985-  While Ronald Reagan was being sworn in for a second term, Robert Lassa of Denver strolled past security by following the Marine Corps Band.  His 14 minute tour of the White House ended when he was stopped by the Secret Service and was searched.  He posted bail and went home.  Charges were dropped citing it was all a mistake.  Later he bragged that he was trying to see how far he could get.
  • October 1978- Dressed in a karate gi and toting a bible and a knife, Anthony Henry climbed over the White fence “To talk to the president.”  Secret Service stopped him 15 yards into yard when he whipped out his knife.  He was subdued and disarmed.  What he wanted to talk to President Carter about was never determined.
  • 25 December, 1974- Dressed in tradition Arab dress, Marshall Fields crashed his Chevy Impala through the Northwest Gate.  After a four hour stand off, the “bomb” strapped to his body turned out to be highway flares.  President Ford and Family were out of town at the time.
  • 17 February, 1974- Army private Robert Preston checked out a UH-1 helicopter from Fort Meade and flew it to the White House.  He hovered the stolen aircraft over the White House lawn for six minutes as the confused security looked on.  He was then chased by a police helicopter and after a brief dog fight around the Washington Memorial he returned to the White House where he was shot down in a barrage of gunfire.  He survived the crash and when asked why he did it he replied, “Because I always wanted to.”.
  • 1 November, 1950- While the White House was being renovated, President Truman took residence in Blair House. Two Puerto Rican pro-independence activists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola   stormed Blair House firing Thompson sub machine guns.  Both were killed before they could gain access to the building.   White House Police officer Leslie Coffelt was mortally wounded but still killed Torresola with return fire.



5 thoughts on “Olympus has Fallen- The Mistakes

  1. Two things 1-, 1+ to balance.
    ‘the odds of shooting down an aircraft in flight are almost nil’ I think my RAF buddies might disagree and going to history, those involved in Battle of Britain would certainly take exception.
    Correct about the anti ballistic windows, But you also forgot to mention the internal steel shutters.
    Still, all in all good to know that it’s not just me that screams ‘wrong! at the screen. Defcon 4 made me laugh out loud in the cinema. It was almost like he was telling them all to calm down.
    Carry on the good work.

  2. Pauline,
    Thanks for the comment and I apologize for being such a slacker in replying to your very nice comment.



  3. I came here for the DEFCON 4 reference, its quite amusing, alright everyone we’re fine calm down. I also noticed the thing regarding the bridge, that’s just not realistic. Another mistake that you kind of touched upon, is that F-16s would typically follow behind an aircraft in a military escort, giving them an advantage if combat was necessary. The often incorrectly depicted in movies especially in this one. The only instance they would fly directly on the sides would be in a friendly escort such as AF1, AF2 or another specially designated government transport.

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