OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN from FilmDistrict open Fri., March 22, 2013. Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Dylan McDermott, Ashley Judd and Rhada Mitchell. Directed by Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day", "Tears of the Sun", "King Arthur", "Shooter").
When the White House (Secret Service Code: Olympus) is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President (Eckhart) is captured, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning (Butler) finds himself trapped inside the building. As the national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning's inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President and avert an even bigger disaster.
Basically, this is "Die Hard" at the White House and Gerard Butler is the Bruce Willis character John McLane. It's a big budget ($130 million) action film with several big stars--some of whom are on the down-side of their careers. There are a lot of well-choreographed action scenes and some moments of intense drama, some involving Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House. Freeman is still very good at looking very intense at just the right moment, much like in his many--many commercials.
It's 98% certain that Butler's performance will be compared to Willis' quite often this week and justifiably so. Butler has garnered several leading roles in A-list films but is basically a B-movie actor. There's nothing wrong with that because most of his roles have been solid performances--just not A-list performances. Obviously, the same could be said about Willis but that's for another day.
The appearance by Ashley Judd is one example of a "star" on her way out. She's done some fine work in her film career but 2011 saw her co-star with Patrick Dempsey in the film "Flypaper" which grossed $1100 total in its theatrical release, receiving a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That's almost as bad as it gets and is directly related to the performances of the actors. Perhaps her political ambitions have taken precedence over her acting talents and she should make a clearcut choice regarding which is more important--and she's not the only one.
Anyway, this could be a really good action flick or just another Hollywood vehicle for someone's political viewpoints. It could be really good for Fuqua's reputation as an action director or a colossal flop, depending on the box office numbers. Those numbers will be released this coming Monday morning and we'll all know for sure.