Olympus Has Fallen – Movie Review
By Anne Brodie Mar 22, 2013, 21:00 GMT
Disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers. ...more
The U.S. President’s First Lady is killed in a horrific car crash while leaving Camp David one Christmas Eve, but their young son survives. The President’s bodyguard Banning (Gerard Butler), who was unable to save the First Lady, is dismissed from his post.
The accident provides a quick entrée into what is going to be a long evening of bombs, guns and a massive body count. It’s noisy, explosive and relentless, fast paced and loaded with testosterone. Despite that, I’m not sure who the intended demo is, as that desired young male audience given the political and domestic backdrop.
The film picks up 13 months later. The President (Aaron Eckhart) is hosting a contingent from South Korea, the Prime Minister and his security people, to discuss North Korea’s increasingly aggressive nuclear stance. Within moments, North Korean bombers are shooting up Washington and anything that moves in the streets.
Hollywood must have its easily recognized enemy for the audiences because as in in films like this, there is no time for set up or new ideas. It’s fast, fast, fast. Over the last dozen years, the Hollywood movie enemy was the Middle East, and these days it is North Korea. And because the screenplay was written a long while ago, the Korean nuclear threat angle in this film seems eerily prescient.
At any rate, the South Korean Prime Minister’s security guards turn their guns on him as their back-ups flood the White House, waves of shooters mowing down bodies left right and center. Mutiny! Explosions! Super fast!
Banning, on exile, sees the commotion from across the street, and smoke over the capital. He rushes over to the White House in time to see part of it explode and collapse. Bodies are everywhere. He rushes in, determined to fight for his President and country. He’ll do it alone, sure!
The President and his staff are in the bunker facing armed North Koreans but where is the First Son? The boy hasn’t been seen in some time. In an earlier scene, he played a game with Banning, identifying the security systems in the White House, the number steps from door to door, and secret places. But it seems likely he has been taken hostage.
Top US politicians and military strategists gather in the war room, trying to make sense of it all, when on the screen come images from the bunker, of staffers being shot, one after the other, the President and Secretary of State (Melissa Leo) tied up and bloody.
The violence is full throttle and never lets up. There is intense, brutal action and certainly, the initial attack on the White House runs too long. The falling bodies spewing blood just never stop and it get monotonous fast. What’s the back story?
Butler’s obviously going to save the day but how will he do it? Will he find the First Son? Will he fight the top North Korean plotter mano-a-mano at the film’s climax? This is the problem, besides the ceaseless, numbing gunshot deaths, is that there can be no possible outcome except the predictable one. Some weaknesses in the script will take us out of the story. It’s not the best action thriller ever made but it’s not the worst either.
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Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Opens March 22
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CAaron Eckhart Biography -
Aaron Eckhart Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesAngela Bassett Biography -
Angela Bassett Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesAshley Judd Biography -
Ashley Judd Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesGerard Butler Biography -
Gerard Butler Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesMelissa Leo Biography -
Melissa Leo Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesMorgan Freeman Biography -
Morgan Freeman Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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