Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen by Jason Burleson

Olympus Has Fallen PosterAnyone that knows me knows I’m a sucker for a good kickass action movie.  I think it’s because everyone wants to be a hero.  Whether it’s a Bond film, a story of a teenage vigilante, or just your everyday guy who isn’t to be messed with, I think we all just like to imagine what we would do in situations that test us. Olympus Has Fallen definitely falls into the category of a kickass action movie.  It’s actually the first of two movies of Die Hard meets the White House to come out this year. This one features Gerard Butler and another titled, White House Down, features Channing Tatum. While both films feature stellar casts and a similar plot, I’m interested to see which one exceeds expectations and which one is left in a patriotic pile of ashes.

Olympus Has Fallen is the action packed story of Mike Banning (Gerard Butler, 300), a secret service agent who has had to face life-altering challenges throughout his career.  In the beginning of the film, Banning is the head of the presidential detail within the Secret Service for President Benjamin Asher(Aaron Eckhart, The Dark Knight).  Disaster strikes and Banning is forced to rescue Asher instead of his wife after a snowy car crash leaving Fort Davis.  Eighteen months later, he is transferred to another detail by request of the president.  Suddenly, Korean terrorists set off a plot to overtake the White House, consisting of planes, explosions, suicide bombers, machine guns, misdirection, and all around death and destruction.  Banning, being ex-Special Forces and still Secret Service, immediately jumps into action in an attempt to thwart the terrorists and eventually ends up as the only remaining agent alive, within the White House.  The Speaker of the House, Speaker Trumbull (Morgan Freeman, Shawshank Redemption), takes his position as acting President and, along with Banning,  set out to rescue the President and other hostages while also averting nuclear attack.

Olympus Has Fallen StillAfter watching this film, I have to admit they do a pretty good job of putting together a really good action movie.  I’m a huge fan of the Die Hard series and this film is in close comparison to that movie theme.  Gerard Butler is great in action-packed film roles. I disliked him in Playing for Keeps which was out just a few months ago and tanked horribly.  He’s just not meant for mushy roles like that, but in this one, he is excellent.  He’s even able to pull off zingy one-liners that put the terrorists in their place just like John McCain.  While Butler is not the most well-rounded actor of all time, he is in all seriousness able to play this character well while showing emotion to the audience at the same time. It’s a good 70-30 split.  Of course, Morgan Freeman is excellent and so is Aaron Eckhart, however their good acting chops still had a difficult job of delivering the soft and cheesy writing that was obviously rushed into getting this movie out early.  However, no one is going to go see this movie for the writing anyways.  The action scenes really make it a good film.  I heard some rumors that some of the scenes were rushed for the trailers and had led some critics to think the movie was of lesser caliber.  I have to disagree.  The shooting sequences are some of the most intense I’ve seen and are filled with rear-clenching close calls to grab the audience’s attention when they might be getting a little bored.

I really liked Olympus Has Fallen and feel most of you will, too.  You can really never have enough dead commies in a movie about the White House and they fill this movie up to the top.  That’s the kind of action I like. It’s not for the faint of heart since there is a lot of violence.  However, I am not a thirteen year old girl so I’m cool with that.

I also really just wish there was a part that Butler could have kicked someone into and yelled “This is ‘Merica!!!!!!” Maybe for the sequel…

I give Olympus Has Fallen 4 “ ’mericahs!” out of 5.


by Jason Burleson

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