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White House gets attacked in the movies

It must be something in the water.

Or the Smartwater. Or the coconut water. Or whatever it is they’re drinking in Hollywood these days.

“Volcano” and “Dante’s Peak” (1997). “Armageddon” and “Deep Impact” (1998). “Red Planet” and “Mission to Mars” (2000). “The Prestige” and “The Illusionist” (2006). Even the romantic comedies “Friends With Benefits” and “No Strings Attached” (2011).

More often than you’d think, and those are just a few examples, two nearly identical sounding movies hit theaters within months of each other.

The latest instance, March’s “Olympus Has Fallen” and Friday’s “White House Down,” both involve hostile takeovers of Washington’s most famous address.

As a way of helping you tell the two movies apart, here’s a look at how they compare in several key — and a few silly — categories.

DIRECTOR

“Olympus Has Fallen”: Antoine Fuqua, who gave the world “Training Day,” “The Replacement Killers” and “Shooter”

“White House Down”: Roland Emmerich, who gave the world “Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012”

Advantage: “Olympus Has Fallen”

PRESIDENT’S ACTION MOVIE BONA FIDES

“Olympus Has Fallen”: President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) loves to box but only gets to glower at the bad guys with eye-twitching, vein-popping rage.

“White House Down”: President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) is a peacenik but shoots up a bad guy in the kitchen and fires a rocket launcher from his luxury car.

Advantage: “White House Down”

PASSED-OVER HERO PORTRAYED BY AN ACTOR WHO HOPEFULLY NEVER MAKES ANOTHER CHICK FLICK

“Olympus Has Fallen”: Stone-faced Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), who was removed from the president’s security detail after a terrible accident

“White House Down”: Wise-cracking Capitol Police Officer John Cale (Channing Tatum), who just failed his job interview with the Secret Service

Advantage: “White House Down”

BAD GUYS

“Olympus Has Fallen”: North Korean commandos who seize the building using a stolen Air Force plane, two garbage trucks filled with heavy artillery and dozens of guerrilla fighters before demanding the withdrawal of the Seventh Fleet, as well as all troops from the DMZ, to ensure a “united, prosperous Korea.”

“White House Down”: An assortment of ex-Special Forces soldiers, white supremacists and a hacker who seize the building posed as home-theater technicians before demanding the contents of the Federal Reserve.

Advantage: “Olympus Has Fallen”

ANNOYING MOPPET IN PERIL

“Olympus Has Fallen”: Connor (Finley Jacobsen), the president’s son, who knows all of the White House’s secrets from repeatedly being quizzed by Banning.

“White House Down”: Emily (Joey King), Cale’s daughter, who knows all of the White House’s secrets from repeatedly scouring WikiLeaks.

Advantage: “Olympus Has Fallen”

TONE

“Olympus Has Fallen”: Grim. The bad guys Swiss-cheese their way inside, emptying a dozen bullets into people when one would do, as the security forces fall over like bad Revolutionary War re-enactors. Others are brutally executed, leaving the walls smeared with blood.

“White House Down”: Light-hearted. Yes, there are casualties — maybe 1 percent of the “Olympus” body count — but most of those come from single tactical shots. Other sequences embrace their over-the-top lunacy. Did we mention the president fires a rocket launcher from his luxury car?

Advantage: “White House Down”

SLUMMING OSCAR WINNERS/NOMINEES

“Olympus Has Fallen”: Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Robert Forster

“White House Down”: Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Richard Jenkins, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Advantage: “Olympus Has Fallen”

MOST MEMORABLE CATCHPHRASE

“Olympus Has Fallen”: “Why don’t you and I play a game of (expletive) off? You go first.” — Banning

“White House Down”: “Get. Your. Hands. Off. My. Jordans.” — President Sawyer

Advantage: “White House Down”

OTHER TOURIST ATTRACTION THAT WON’T REOPEN ANY TIME SOON

“Olympus Has Fallen”: Washington Monument, which, thanks to some pretty silly CGI, topples over as tourists flee in footage that could have been lifted from any Godzilla movie

“White House Down”: U.S. Capitol, which has its dome collapse after a realistically violent explosion

Advantage: “White House Down”

MOST SHAMELESS ‘DIE HARD’ HOMAGE

“Olympus Has Fallen”: Banning shares a moment with one of the villains who passes himself off as a good guy looking for a smoke.

“White House Down”: Cale crawls around in elevator shafts and strips down to his sleeveless undershirt.

Advantage: “White House Down”

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