REVIEW: OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN
SYNOPSIS: When terrorists take down the White House (code name "Olympus"), a disgraced Secret Service agent attempts to rescue the president of the United States in Olympus Has Fallen, an electrifying and inspired action thriller from acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day).
A small group of heavily armed, meticulously trained extremists launch a daring daylight ambush on the White House, overrunning the building and taking President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and his staff hostage inside an impenetrable underground presidential bunker. As a pitched battle rages on the White House lawn, former presidential security officer Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) joins the fray, and finds his way into the besieged building to do the job he has trained for all his life: to protect the president – at all costs.
Banning uses his extensive training and detailed knowledge of the presidential residence to become the eyes and ears of Acting President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and his key advisors. With tension rising, the radicals begin executing hostages and threaten to kill more unless their outrageous demands are met, our national security team must relay on Banning to locate the president's young son, who is being sought as the ultimate test of the president's loyalty to his country, and rescue the president before the terrorists can unleash their ultimate, terrifying plan.
“We are never stronger than when we are tested.”
This film really brings that statement to life. I honestly thought this was going to be just another cookie cutter, USA under siege action flick. That’s not necessarily bad, just average. Well, this movie blew me away, pun intended. It is a lot more than just an average action flick. It is intense and actually quite dramatic and patriotic. There are very few action movies that can almost draw a tear or two. This one does just that. On the flip side, it is also extremely violent and bloody; after all, it is rated R. I have a feeling Priscilla would be turned off by it as would many of you, but there are also those movie goers that are not phased by it, so on with the show. Overall and in summary, this movie kicks ass. It could be best described as Die Hard meets Air Force One and had a kid; or maybe Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford begat Gerard Butler. Well, that might be a bit much, but you get the idea. Speaking of Gerard Butler, as you would expect, he is the baddest ass in the picture. One of the more impressive features of the film is the big name cast. Besides Gerard we get some Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Dylan McDermott, Rick Yune, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, and even a little bit of Ashley Judd just to name a few. Whew! That is a packed cast. Now in a movie like this its really not about the acting because it gets overshadowed by the action so overall the performances are as good as they need to be for this genre. But even so, Aaron and Dylan stood out a bit more than the rest as far as intensity.
Boy have times changed since the White House was first built. Having seen the movie Lincoln somewhat recently and how the White House was portrayed back then to how it is now is remarkable. Most of the change is not by want but by necessity. Maintaining the White House as the most protected building in the world is not an easy task. Security detail is more intense, high-tech, complex, and difficult than ever. This film gives us a glance at that along with the world of a Secret Service Agent and his/her duties. Now if you’re like me you might wonder, “Well why do they make these movies? They’re potentially giving a lot of good ideas to a lot of wrong people.” I would expect the people in charge of security to use a movie like this as good training material for scenarios to guard against. The storyline we have here is current and feasible to a degree. But let’s not worry about that right now. The special effects were pretty darn good for the most part. Some effects looked a little cheesy though. All in all, Director Antoine Fuqua has added another brilliant, intense thriller to his repertoire. The movie is not perfect, but it sure is a lot of fun. In closing, God bless you and God bless the United States of America.
By Cine Marcos
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