It’s lucky that Gerard Butler’s disgraced secret service agent is hanging about when North Korean extremists storm the White House and take the US president (Aaron Eckhart) hostage.

It’s a bloody, bludgeoning sequence that unfolds in real time for 15 minutes and gets the film off to a cracking start.

From then on, Butler’s one-man defence force turns up every which way to save the day and the free world.

Faced with some cheap and cheesy effects, Butler carries off his derring-do role with panache and it’s a bonus that the pacy, explosive action leaves you little time to examine the ropey plot.