Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen

Gerard Butler plays John McClane Mike Banning in Olympus Has Fallen, the unbelievable action thriller about the President getting kidnapped in the White House by a bunch of North Korean radicals. Although I prefer this character played by Bruce Willis in the 80s running around with no shoes on, Gerard Butler will do.

What started off slightly realistic, with bad weather inflicting an accident where someone dies after a choice to save the President is made, turns into your usual Hollywood action movie: everyone dies except the one person that everyone keeps trying to kill. That is the law of the action movie my friends.

Banning is a former Secret Service agent who was removed from the President's detail after the fatal accident kills the First Lady. Fast forward a year and a half, Banning is depressed at a desk job when the President is taken hostage along with a group of highly important government officials who are at the White House for a meeting with the South Korean Prime Minister.

Of course Banning's desk job is within walking distance to the House so he is one of the first responders on scene. While every other person there with a bullet proof vest on is shot dead, he is able to kill a bunch of bad guys and make his way into the house.  Since he has only been off that detail for a YEAR AND A HALF, it seems totally legitimate that no passwords or access that he had previously would have been changed or taken away, thus he is able to access everything that he was able to before he was 'released' from duty. Don't get me started.

The North Korean guy in charge kills a bunch of people and threatens to kill the President. The President is obviously the nicest and laid back man on the planet and the audience yearns for his rescue. This is usually the case in most movies where the American flag is shot in slow motion as the trumpet score plays mournfully in the background at some pivotal moment just before Americans make a comeback and save the world. It is what I like to call 'Hollywood's contribution to military recruitment'.

I won't ruin it for you, but a bunch of Koreans die, a bunch of black suit Americans die, a traitor dies, a bunch of stuff gets blown up, the White House gets destroyed and in the end a bunch of people fist bump and shout AMERICA THE GREAT! (OK, so I lied about the last part, but don't even think for a second that I don't think it happened at some point during the filming of this movie.)

Of course, there is also the room filled with government officials and military heads lead by Morgan Freeman. Freeman plays the Acting President who keeps his cool and makes a bunch of decisions - some getting tons of people killed and other saving lives. All of the latter decisions are made in conjunction with Banning's intel. I can't write 'obviously' and 'of course' after each statement, so just add it in in your mind.

If I was going to be completely honest, they lost me five seconds into the attack. If Gerard wasn't looking hot in this movie it is possible that I would have left the theatre. Luckily for them he was looking much better than he has in his past couple movies. Aaron Eckhart, the President, on the other hand, looked off. His hair cut made his head look weird and I was not feeling it.

I did enjoy and appreciated how Banning stabbed a lot of people in the head. It was extreme, but a nice deviation from the usual throat cut or bullet to the stomach.

I know that I just ragged on this movie for a solid seven paragraphs, but that was more a rant against the action film industry as a whole. In general it was decent movie based off an already overused story line of solo trained-in-weapons underdog against some terrorist group. I'd say it was a renter, but I don't think you'll get the full effect of Butler's multiple face stabbings if you don't see it in the theatre. Food for thought.

Verdict: 3.4 Stars

Olympus Has Fallen is in theatres Friday March 22



  1. When you write a movie review it should not have all these grammatical errors if and only if you desire to be taken seriously which I doubt you do judging by your writing ineptidutes.

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