Instep Today

Dial B for Butler

By Omair Alavi
Fri, 10, 19

Gerard Butler has been saving presidents – irrespective of nationality – for six years now. Instep gives you the lowdown

How many times have you heard the phrase: “the butler did it” whether it is a mystery novel, a TV series or a Hollywood film? But then there is one Butler who has made saving the president an onscreen habit. He doesn’t care about their party affiliations, their manifestos and in one case, their nationality, thus emerging as a global hero. His name’s Gerard Butler and saving presidents is his beat it seems for over six years now. This is his case file, for your eyes only…

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Character: Agent Mike Banning

He was the right hand man of Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), the President of the United States but one failure cost him a demotion; which was a good thing because he wasn’t with the President when terrorists took over the White House in Olympus Has Fallen. He managed to go Die Hard-Rambo-Sudden Death on the North Koreans and saved the President and the World (from certain destruction) at the same time. And yes, he was reinstated by the time the film ended giving us a hint about what would come next.

London Has Fallen (2016)

Character: Agent Mike Banning

Lightning doesn’t strike in one place, twice, but it is completely incorrect when the President’s name is Benjamin Asher and his head of security is Mike Banning. It was during a trip to London (hence the title, London Has Fallen) three years after the last attack that both Asher and Banning found themselves in a similar situation. Terrorists had engineered a political leader’s funeral so they could target as many world leaders as possible, but they didn’t count on one name – Banning. President’s man of crisis arrived in London before the rest of his team and managed to save the head of state using his experience as a survivor.

Geostorm (2017)

Character: Jake Lawson

This time, he was neither a Secret Service Agent nor someone close to the head of state. In fact, he was not even on Earth when the President’s assassination was about to take place. Yet, Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) and his brother Max (Jim Sturgess) manage to save President Andrew Palma (Andy Garcia) after suspecting him of being the villain in this disaster film. Some people go all the way to space to ensure that the President doesn’t live to see the day but that’s where Lawson was waiting for them, and we couldn’t be happier.

Hunter Killer (2018)

Character: Commander Joe Glass

After saving presidents on land and from space, Gerard Butler went underwater to ensure that the world remains a safe place. As Commander Joe Glass (Gerard Butler), he is sent to investigate a submarine accident, in another submarine. However, his crew isn’t fond of him and second-guesses him at every turn. How he manages to save the Russian President Nikolai Zakarin (Alexander Diachenko), while not being trusted by anyone and then saves his ship without retaliating is what makes this film one of the better ones featuring Butler. It may have sunk at the box office but when you save an enemy President, nothing else matters.

Angel Has Fallen (2019)Character: Agent Mike Banning

In 2019, Gerard Butler is back in the role where saving Presidents is his job. In Angel Has Fallen, he gets to do everything all over again but this time, he is being suspected for ‘conveniently’ saving the US Presidents. All this happens when President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) is in a coma after being saved from a deadly drone attack by his favorite Agent (no points for guessing). How Banning manages to clear his name and save the President again, this time from well-trained mercenaries is what makes Angel Has Fallen a film not to be missed. It is still running in cinemas, so go ahead, and make your day.

–Omair Alavi is a freelance broadcast journalist who can be contacted at