Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter) is known for movies where the hero rises to their full potential. Along the way this lone warrior dodges an action-filled playing field to triumph over evil and make the world safer.
In Film District’s ‘Olympus Has Fallen,' Fuqua is true to form. When the White House is taken over by terrorists, disgraced Secret Service Agent, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) fights to free President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart).
Because it is not possible to actually shoot a film on White House grounds, it was shot on location in Shreveport, Louisiana. Instead of CGI, a massive and detailed larger than life replica was constructed. They even built a believable Pennsylvania Avenue right down to the water fountain on the front lawn. The result was amazing and added to the creditability of the picture.
Butler is fantastic as the agent who infiltrates the White House. His single objective is to free President Asher and the other hostages Using his inside knowledge of the floor plans, he goes toe-to-toe with the terrorist invaders lead by Kang, (Rick Yune) to foil their plan. .
Of course, it doesn't hurt to have Morgan Freeman (Speaker Trumbull) to fall back on when the White House is compromised. His interaction with General Edward Clegg (Robert Forster) is a glimpse into a political power struggle.
Academy® Award Winner, Melissa Leo as the Secretary of Defense, Ruth McMillan proves that women of power are just as likely to be patriots. She bravely stands up to physical brutality and it is mesmerizing. Her character provides an alternative to Angela Bassett. Her portrayal of Secret Service Director, Lynn Jacobs is weak. At times, she looks to be confused and out of place.
Of course there are times when it seems as if the film lingers too long. But that is quickly remedied by a burst of fire power.
‘Olympus Has Fallen’ is a riveting film with a hero who rises to the challenge to save a nation. And, isn't that the American dream?