Published on July 23rd, 2013 | by Allan Brown2
Olympus Has Fallen Review
Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo
Plot: The President of the United States finds himself trapped inside The White House in an over elaborate terrorist attack. However, fear not, Gerard Butler (Mike Banning) is on the case. With his inside knowledge this one man army will infiltrate the building and take on the captors one by one in a bid to save the president and the United States from this outrageous and convoluted terrorist plot.
In 2001 Antoine Fuqua brought us the impressive action based character drama, ‘Training Day’. A film that resonated with both audiences and critics alike, eventually going on to earn Denzel Washington a best actor win at the Oscars for the role of Det. Alonzo Harris.
This time Fuqua brings terrorists and weapons of mass destruction to the table in Olympus Has Fallen. However, this time, instead of Denzel Washington at the helm of the cast, we have the self appointed Scottish action man, Mr wavering accent himself, Gerard Butler. The film presents itself as a paint-it-by-numbers, all-out shoot-em-up that politely asks you to leave your brain at the door for collection on your way out.
This White House invasion movie centres around a Secret Service Agent named Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). Banning now at a desk job in the city after being released from the White House security unit, must now dust of his particular set of skills when North Korean terrorists come knocking on the presidents door. Banning along with the help of acting President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and the Secret Service Director (Angela Bassett) must infiltrate the White House to rescue the President and the country from nuclear destruction. No Sweat for Butler.
Olympus Has Fallen is essentially ‘Die Hard’ in the White House, only the dizzying heights of the Nakatomi Plaza have been disappointingly replaced by the plush, narrow, un-atmospheric corridors of the Presidential Palace. The film presents itself as a two hour, utterly generic, humourless, bloody action film with Gerard Butler as a seemingly bullet proof secret service agent. His faceless opponents are used only as waves of cannon fodder for action set pieces. Even their head honcho feels uninspired and flavourless as the stereotypical bad guy. The action and set pieces are often solid and handled well but the characters unfortunately feel empty, lacking any charm, charisma or screen presence, which is utterly accentual in a genre film like this.
Fuqua knows how to direct action, however, the impressive cast are inexcusably underused and as a result add little credibility to the laughable premise. Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett and Melissa Leo are on hand only to recite their lines and collect their check. This is a movie for people who have seen everything else at the cinema but still feel the need to spend 2 hours in a darkened theatre.
Summary: Not nearly as cool or entertaining as it thinks it is, but it scrapes by in a mediocre action film kind of way.