Olympus Has Fallen, 2013.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua.
Starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Finley Jacobsen, Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Rick Yune and Radha Mitchell.
When terrorists storm the White House and take the President of the United States hostage, only his ex-Secret Service guard can do anything about it.
If you’re looking for intelligent, realistic fare, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for cheesy dialogue with over the top action sequences and a fun time, then this is it. Olympus Has Fallen follows Gerard Butler’s Mike Banning, Head Secret Service Agent to President Benjamin Ahser (Aaron Eckhart). After a terrible tragedy, in which Banning does the right thing, he loses his job at the President’s side. However, when the South Korean premier visits the White House, North Korean terrorists attack, completely decimating the building and taking the President hostage, leaving only Mike Banning inside and alive.
From the opening scene in which Banning and the President are boxing, the dialogue is quite honestly atrocious. Sincerity and emotion forced between all of the characters, and given that Butler and Eckhart are very capable actors, it speaks volumes that they are unable to rescue any of the lines given to them. There is some great action scenes however and the storming of the White House is particularly impressive, as the terrorists lay siege from behind the security gates and press forward in to the building. It lasts for quite a while and was admittedly very well done; The CGI however, not so much.
Gerard Butler lacks the gravitas which he brought to roles such as King Leonidas in 300, and his delivery of certain lines makes you wonder if he wasn’t drifting off to memories of a better time in his career. That being said, he gets a couple of great snappy one-liners which he executes perfectly. The rest of the cast can salvage none of their lines either it has to noted, and a number of performances are either completely phoned in or unbelievably hammed up – those being Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo respectively.
As to be expected Olympus Has Fallen is very pro-America, but perhaps that’s the point. There is definitely a feeling of satire in it, which – coupled with the awfully cheesy dialogue, which will induce fits of laughter at times – it is likely what director Antoine Fuqua was going for. It’s definitely far from perfect, but it is a very enjoyable movie and sometimes that’s all we need from the cinema.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★