–Olympus Has Fallen has a great collective in its cast and once again, the White House and President of the United States is under threat of duress. So, does Gerard Butler make this movie the action fest fun-filled film this could be? Or does director Fuqua take the safe route with a formulaic tale of action-porn?
I finally got a chance to see this movie and rented it via my On Demand system and pull together my opinion on the film.
Olympus Has Fallen stars Gerard Butler as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, Aaron Eckhart as President Benjamin Asher along with Finley Jacobsen as his son. Other cast includes Dylan McDermott, Rick Yune, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell and Cole Hauser.
The movie is directed (and produced) by Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s Finest, Shooter), has a runtime of 120 minutes and is rated R. With Fuqua’s resume, I wasn’t too worried and figure this film should be in capable hands.
It was filmed in and around Bossier City, Louisiana and is known in other countries by the names of
Ataque a la Casa Blanca; Pad Olimpa; Assalto à Casa Branca; Attacco al potere; Cod Rosu la Casa Alba;
End of White House; Ha’matara: ha’bayit ha’lavan; Invasão à Casa Branca; Kod Adi: Olympus;
La Chute de la Maison Blanche; Nha Trang That Thu; O Olympos epese; Objetivo: La Casa Blanca; Olümpos on langenud; Olimp w ogniu; Olimpo apgultis; Olimpo bajo fuego; Olympos on valloitettu; Operación: Código Olimpo; Támadás a Fehér Ház ellen.
The movie starts out as we watch agent Banning boxing with President Asher up at Camp David. There’s a big holiday social event that the president is getting ready for.
They all head out in the usual kind of presidential caravan of SUVs and the presidential limo.
The weather is horrible and the roads are icy. An accident takes place and though Banning saves the president from the limo, it goes over the railing with his wife inside.
Months later, Banning is working in a position at the treasury, out of sight from the president, only because he doesn’t want to be reminded of that fateful night Banning chose him over his wife to save.
A South Korean envoy visits the White House, and during the meeting a C-130 strafes the city and most of the armed guards on the White House property.
As the building goes into shutdown, an incredibly well orchestrated siege takes place. Peers and co-workers who turn out to be sleepers in critical positions turn on their peers and kill them. It seemed that many of the tourists outside the White House were also terrorists. It was a mad mess trying to keep track of good and bad guys during the initial melee. But there were a lot of splattering head shots.
Through it all, Banning sees what’s going down from his remote new position and runs to the White House to aid his ex-peers. And that’s roughly the first half-hour of this two-hour movie event.
The movie is rated R and rightfully so. There is much gun-play, accented with bloody body shots, head shots, and a number of fatal, real-life technique stabbings. This is not a movie for your younger kids, that’s for sure.
Rick Yune plays Kang, the bad guy, and after all is said and done, his demands are rather bland and basic. Nothing Earth shattering. He wants to free the people of his country.
The movie starts out trying to show us the humanity of the relationships between our primary characters. Though it falls a bit short on truly pulling this viewer into the stories of these characters right away, I continued to watch, knowing that soon, the action will kick in. (I am a bit of an action junkie)
And when the action does rev up, it’s rather typical and fanciful. Somehow a slew of terrorists have moved in place to make this event happen.
Well, if you like Butler, you’ll enjoy the movie as he takes is ex-special forces character into action into rather impossible odds.
At times, the action and plot are a-typical and a bit slow. Other moments, when you expect the standard action or event to take place, we’re surprised when it doesn’t. As the film hits the latter half of the third act, things finally start to fall into place and pick up. Or, I woke up.
It’s not a horrible movie, but I think I’m glad I didn’t see it and drop bucks on it when it was in the movie theaters. Rental? If you’re a fan of any of the primary players, you might enjoy it.
Oh, and one other thing… If you’ve never seen Morgan Freeman pull of a scene as being a truly pissed off man, this movie might be worth it just to see that one moment come out of Freeman. My jaw dropped when he vented on a different character. Wow!