Opening this weekend is the new action film Olympus Has Fallen. From the film’s official synopsis:
When a terrorist mastermind seizes control of the White House (Secret Service Code: Olympus) and captures the President, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning¹s inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President and avert an even bigger crisis. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) directs an all-star cast featuring Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd and Rick Yune.
I’m gonna start with the negatives of Olympus Has Fallen. First of all it is completely preposterous. This might be a bit spoiler-ish if you haven’t seen too many trailers, but there is no way on Earth an unidentified plane (especially a military one) would EVER get that close to Washington D. C. A plane like that would be spotted over the Atlantic Ocean and if it wouldn’t identify itself, we would force it to land or blow it out of the sky with drones. It would never make American soil.
The reaction time to the White House being attacked isn’t realistic either. You have a plane in the sky killing people and SWAT and the military isn’t at the White House that instant? You wait till the White House is actually attacked? Wrong. As soon as they thought D.C. could be under attack it would be closer to martial law with full military blockades and protection. Plus some of the CGI of the film just looked really bad and they brought up a story angle (Butler’s girlfriend being a nurse) and did absolutely zero with it. I mean it never even came to play in any type of plot device.
But are we really watching a film like Olympus Has Fallen for realism? No, we are watching a film about one guy taking down a team of Korean soldiers. That’s not realistic in the slightest, but it sure was pretty entertaining. And that’s why it’ll probably make money, because it’s pretty darn entertaining.
I’ve always liked Gerard Butler despite not always liking a lot of the films he’s in. As a former Secret Service agent, his character’s background and age really fits him. You can see someone like him easily portraying that character. Sure he does a lot of Jason Bourne type stuff, but you understand it because his character had training. Say what you will, but Butler does action well. The action sequences (most of the time non-stop action sequences) were really cool especially with a director like Fuqua.
I also liked the supporting cast. I really like Aaron Eckhart as a politician and just like him as an actor too. He really took control as the president and I thought he was really solid in it. I’d love to see him do a full on political thriller. Dylan McDermott’s character you could probably figure out, but again, he’s one of those actors I simply like. I thought this was a really good character for Rick Yune too. As the bad guy, he wasn’t just a ridiculous, over the top bad guy, you understood his morals and reasons for doing what he was doing. Add in Morgan Freeman and seriously, just a good group of actors. Plus the ladies aren’t too shabby either. You have Oscar winner Melissa Leo and Oscar nominee Angela Bassett and the ladies were definitely holding their own.
So you have a preposterous story, but solid acting and good fight sequences. Kinda sounds like any Die Hard film now doesn’t it? And that’s what I’d probably compare it to most. If you liked any of the Die Hard films, you’ll probably like this. You’ll definitely like it if you are a fan of Butler or Eckhart’s It’s a March released popcorn movie and you know what? I’m perfectly ok with that.
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