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White House Down and the Top 10 Most BAD-ASS Presidents of All Time

by Kevin Marshall   June 27, 2013 at 12:00AM  |  Views: 3,119
Source: columbia Pictures

This summer we've already seen the third "Iron Man" film, the second installment of the Star Trek reboot, and the highly anticipated "Man of Steel." But the summer movie season isn't over until either the fat lady sings or the President of the United States fires a machine gun.

This Friday we have yet another "the White House is under siege" movie coming out, "White House Down." This one, directed by Roland Emmerich, sees Jamie Foxx playing the machine-gun-toting President alongside Secret Service applicant Channing Tatum. Making the President himself a badass action hero is a bold move, but not an unprecedented one.

We won't know just how badass he is until the film's release this weekend. He faces some stiff competition, though, in the realm of badass Presidents. Here's the top ten.


Source: columbia Pictures

#10: Tiny Lister as President Lindberg in "The Fifth Element"

There's no denying that President Lindberg had a commanding presence…just not commanding enough for Korben Dallas's mother to show him a little respect when he called.


#9: Michael Douglas as President Andrew Shepard in "The American President"

This may seem like an odd choice since "The American President" is a romantic comedy, but sometimes the most badass and bravest thing a guy can do is open his heart and let himself love someone. Or something.


Source: 20th Century Fox

#8: Bill Pullman as President Thomas Whitmore in "Independence Day"

If aliens were to attack tomorrow, only two things would stand between us and total annihilation: inspired leadership and a virus uploaded from an Apple Powerbook(?) that would somehow be able to infect alien computers(?!). President Thomas Whitmore provided us with one of those things, and his stirring speech let us know that July 4th would be known as the whole world's Independence Day. Also, he got to fly a jet and shoot down flying saucers. That's how you enforce a no-fly zone!


#7: Dennis Haysbert as President David Palmer in "24"

Dennis Haysbert as President Palmer became one of the best recurring characters in "24." Jack Bauer may have got to do a lot of cool and wild stuff, but the real surprise was seeing a politician put his principles and integrity above all else. That show required a high suspension of disbelief, but that one really tested us.


#6: Morgan Freeman as President Beck in "Deep Impact"

President Beck stood his ground in the face of a giant meteor hurtling toward Earth and guided us through an Extinction Level Event. Even if he had just given up and said "look, we're totally screwed," it'd be okay. With that awesome voice, Morgan Freeman can say anything and make it sound epic and inspiring. He certainly did more than the President in that year's other "big rock from outer space that is going to kill us all" movie, "Armageddon," who left it up to guys that work on an oil rig to save us. You know, because that worked out so well with BP in the Gulf.


Source: Columbia Pictures

#5: Harrison Ford as President James Marshall in "Air Force One"

President James Marshall doesn't need Secret Service protection, the Secret Service needs President James Marshall protection. GET OFF HIS PLANE!


Source: 20th Century Fox

#4: Terry Crews as President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho in "Idiocracy"

Fact: When it comes to Presidents firing off automatic weapons, Terry Crews beat Jamie Foxx to the punch by seven years. Crews played a former pro wrestler who became Commander-in-Chief in a future run by idiots in the Mike Judge film "Idiocracy." I think I might have missed the point of the movie, because he'd totally have my vote.


(Note: All Access ran into Terry at the Bluth Frozen Banana Stand and chatted him up about the new season of "Arrested Development." Full video here: All Access Weekly: Arrested Development's Original Frozen Banana Stand.)


#3: Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet in "The West Wing"

It's rare that we see a good leader in movies that also seems like he could exist in the real world. Even though "The West Wing" was littered with posturing and political naivety, the earnestness of Josiah Bartlet was endearing enough to make viewers want to believe. If you're anything like me, you've been casting your vote every four years for Josiah Bartlet as a write-in.


#2: Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin in "Battlestar Galactica"


Admittedly, this entry is a bit of a cheat since she wasn't President of the United States. Close enough, though, right? Roslin inherited the position because the forty-two people in front of her in the line of succession didn't survive the Cylon attack on her planet, but she rose to the occasion and proved to be more than formidable, facing down not only threats from the Cylons but also from within her own government.


As for our number one? It was a tough choice between this one and Roslin, but we had to go with…


Source: John Parrot/Stocktrek Images Getty Images

#1: Teddy Roosevelt as President Teddy Roosevelt in Real Life

You know how every other commercial you see on TV tries to be funny (and fails) by showing us a guy being a real manly man and doing stereotypically macho things like riding a horse, having a lavishly decorated reading room with the heads of giant predators mounted on the wall, and rocking epic facial hair? You know, the ones that say "first thing I do when I wake up is win a war." Well, what's now a lazy marketing joke was once a real life President. During his Presidency Teddy Roosevelt built the Panama Canal, busted up crippling trusts, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and delivered a 90 minute speech during his re-election campaign despite having been shot in the chest. Now THAT'S badass.

And there you have it. Did I miss any? I sincerely doubt it, but feel free to tell me otherwise in the comments below.

Speaking of badasses, All Access Weekly visited the Game of Thrones exhibit while it was in New York and talked to heavy metal and horror legend Rob Zombie…all in the same episode! Check it out below.


 

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