Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen
From the director of Training Day, comes Olympus Has Fallen, a rather bloody tale of a quite overly-dramatic assault on the White House, home of one of the most protected men in the world. Though the film lacked a decent story and didn't show much for originality, it had good action and delivered a true "man's" film for the tough guys out there.
The film tells the story of former U.S. Army Ranger Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), now serving as the lead Secret Service agent to President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart). After a fatal accident at Camp David during Christmas, President Asher loses his wife and must raise his son on his own. Eighteen months later, Banning, who was unable to rescue the President's wife, now works for the Treasury Department, within eyesight of the White House. Meanwhile, the President meets with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Tae-Woo (Keong Sim), their meeting being quickly interrupted by the President being taken hostage and guerrilla forces infiltrating the grounds and air surrounding the White House. News of the attack spreads quickly as the officials inside the White House are easily shot down or taken hostage as well. The leader behind the attack, Kang Yeonsak (Rick Yune), an ex-North Korean terrorist, contacts officials at the Pentagon for a negotiation to remove the U.S Military from the Korean Peninsula to end the civil war between them. Using the President and other White House staff as leverage, Kang also threatens to detonate the U.S nuclear missiles in order to make the country an irradiated wasteland. Seeing no way to negotiate the terrorist otherwise, Speaker of the House Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) proceeds to give him what he wants, not knowing that Banning is still inside of the White House and is determined to save the President at all costs. After coming in contact with Trumbull at the Pentagon, Banning is instructed to save the President, along with his son, and kill the terrorists within the house.
Although the film was overall entertaining, with the thrilling hunt for terrorist masterminds within the President's home and the brutal assault with lots and lots of shooting, it lacked good story and left us hanging on a few areas. For one, the President, along with Gerard Butler's character Banning, didn't seem to show much hurt for losing the First Lady in the beginning of the film. The President didn't seem all that affected by the loss of his wife, even around all the killings of his own staff (What, no mental breakdown?). Another thing was how the United States resolved things with North Korea, the movie ending with the President addressing the crisis that had happened, but leaving out how Korea felt about one of their own almost demolishing the entire United States. Either way, the minor plot-holes can easily be overlooked by any person who paid just to see a violent action flick.
The cast in the film wasn't all that bad either, having Aaron Eckhart play the seemingly tough Commander-in-chief, Morgan Freeman play the official who says all the cheesy, yet awesome lines in his famous voice, and Gerard Butler play the bad-ass, loyal-to-his-country agent who saves the day in the most cliche way. The villain was pretty good, as any typical psycho terrorist would be in a film like this, bent on the end of the world and driven by pure and not-so-significant revenge. One character in the film I hated to love and loved to hate was the devious double-crosser Dave Forbes (Dylan McDermott), an ex-US Secret Service agent who aids the terrorists and battles fist-to-fist with Banning as he tries to reach the President in time. Even though the character had an annoying cockiness to him and was kind of unneeded in the film, he had that bad-ass villain ego that made you want him to stay alive and become the true mastermind behind the brutal scheme. Ironically, Dylan McDermott, the actor who plays Forbes, stars as a rogue agent yet again in CBS's Hostages, where he orders a doctor to assassinate the President in surgery or he'll kill her family. Hopefully, we'll get a better look at the actor's badassery in the new show due in September.
Overall the film was okay, not having a decent plot and having overly-dramatic shooting scenes that made you want to throw up and roll your eyes at the same time (That might hurt). The film had a lot of scenes where you wanted to yell out "What the heck?", but overall was good if you're a true man who likes a bit (or a lot) of blood and gore that only R-rated films could deliver. If you're a little skittish and want a more toned-down and more comedic version of nearly the exact same film, try this year's White House Down, that features Jamie Foxx as the Commander-in-Chief (A more accurate depiction, I'm guessing) and Channing "Everyone's Favorite Actor" Tatum as the hero in this other adaptation in the popular genre of attacking the White House and the President.
I gave this film a 5 out of 10 because it didn't have a good-enough plot to enjoy, left some things unexplained and unresolved, and had too much dramatized action for anyone to enjoy...unless you like that stuff.
After sitting through this movie, I'd like to know what films in this genre you liked or hated the most and why. Name a few, or just one, or none if you don't care for those, and tell me why you liked or disliked it so much. Was it aliens attacking the White House in Independence Day? Or terrorist Commissioner Gordon taking over the Prez's personal plane in Air Force One? Also let me know what your favorite movie President is and why....Leave your answers in the comments below.