Disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers. (IMDB)
Writers: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
Run time/Rating: 120Minutes/ R
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn
Thankfully it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes for “Olympus” to start falling because if it weren’t for the action in this mindless flick it would be impossible to watch. With awful dialogue and completely impossible scenarios it feels cut from the same mold as all bad (good?) 80’s action movies only with a CGI makeover. That being said, if you are entertained by action, this should have enough to do it for you from the beginning.
Throughout the resurgence of popularity with action movies over the past 5 years I have stayed away from most opportunities. I saw The Expendables, I skipped The Expendables 2 along with the new Die Hard and Rambo reboots. I guess that when I sit down simply to be entertained I still demand a bit of legitimacy in dialogue at the very least. I feel that all the action “flicks” I have ever seen could all be the same “flick”. They survive only with one over the top action scene and explosion after the next set of gun fights and more explosions. There is no requirement that the viewer has to connect any dots to get from one explosion to the next. There simply have to be dots scattered out there for the audience to recognize as plot points. In the case of Olympus those dots are the presidents child, a nuclear launch passcode, North Korea, a traitor CIA Agent and a former CIA hero. These “dots” are given to you so the explosions can happen, but none are connected to make any sense.
To touch on those plot dots a little bit… The president (Aron Eckhart) relocates his friend and right hand body guard (Gerald Butler) to a desk job with the treasury department at the beginning of the movie due to an unfortunate tragedy in the president’s life. 18 months later a full on attack is launched by North Korean terrorists on the White House. The high-octane, perfectly planned attack sends the secret service body count through the (blown up white house) roof and a certain former CIA agent is forced back into action after the president is taken hostage.
Thankfully, the action is intense and so frequent that it takes over the movie, although I didn’t find the CGI to be all that impressive, coming off cheap and video game-ish. There are fisticuffs scenes that are cool and Butler kicks ass at times which is undoubtedly fun to watch. The talented actors in the cast are provided with such a clichéd and pathetic script filled with the worst action style one off lines and cheesy puns that I felt bad for the decision they all made to be in this takeover. I can only recommend “Olympus has Fallen” to the action aficionado or someone who is looking to get nothing out of a movie other than some explosions.
Small Popcorn with Butter.