Olympus Has Fallen
Olympus Has Fallen
By Wilson Morales
When it comes to action films lately, we’re seeing sequels, remakes, reboots, or 3D films, and while some of those films drive audiences to the theaters, others go DOA. There’s no connection with fans. Antoine Fuqua is no stranger to the genre, with his previous being The Replacement Killers, Tears of the Sun, and King Arthur. He has a tenacity of making his projects gritty and filled with lots of intensity. Such is the case with his latest film, the clichéd ridden, heavily action packed film, Olympus Has Fallen. A mashup of Die Hard, Air Force One, and possibly Under Siege, there’s nothing in this film that we haven’t seen before; but Gerard Butler makes the most in making this film a moving crowd-pleaser.
Butler plays Secret Service topdog Mike Banning, who helps the president (Aaron Eckhart) keep in physical shape by being his boxing sparring partner. While at Camp David, Banning assembles his team, while the president and his wife (Ashley Judd) get ready to go to function. With their young son tagging along with Mike, he has to witness a horrific event as the president’s car go over a bridge, leaving him with one parent.
Months later and having been removed from the White House to working nearby, Banning itches to come back to the team as he has coffee with his former boss, Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs (Angela Bassett). As the president gets ready to have a powwow meeting the leader of North Korea, mayhem ensues once a fighter plane crosses the US and starts shooting people in the streets. With everyone on alert, the main core of the White House staff, including the president, vice-president, secretary of defense (Melissa Leo), other top officials, and members of the Korean team go down to the bunker for safety. Little do they know that the mastermind (Rick Yune) behind these attacks is actually with them inside and sets to destroy the United States unless demands are met.
Banning is force back into combat and enters the White House. Not only is he on his own, he has evade a army of armed Koreans and avoid being killed while trying to save the President and salvage what’s left of the White House, now that Olympus has fallen.
With the addition of Morgan Freeman as the acting president, Robert Forster as a top general, Dylan McDemott, Bassett, Leo, and Cole Hauser, Fuqua pulls off a solid action thriller. Despite the poor dialogue Butler is given at the times, appearing to emulate Bruce Willis or the old Steven Seagal, fans of the action genre will be pleased by the hard core violence and intensity Fuqua has brought in. While his comedic skills should be left at home, Butler’s physical and action reflexes are believable.
Having played a top figure from God and President in other films, Freeman is at ease playing the next in charge figurehead. Bassett registers authority as the one keeping all the remaining top officials levelheaded while away from the chaos.
The idea that a fighter plane can easily enter US territory, reach the White House without being shot down, or security breach is at the highest level is farfetched to begin with, but if you can suspend your beliefs and go with the flow, especially if you want to see is a decent action thriller, you won’t be disappointed with Olympus Has Fallen.