'Olympus Has Fallen' Is Overkill At Its Best - And Lots Of Fun (Review)
Despite its plot-holes, continuity issues, and a color-by-number layout…this White House version of "Die Hard" is brutally intense and barbarically awesome!
Not much can be said other than there's more to President Asher's (Aaron Eckhart) issues than the usual flimflam between Republicans and Democrats. In what seems to be one of the year's most entertaining thrillers, "Olympus Has Fallen" raises the stakes when the nation's most protected structure is infiltrated by North Korean terrorists (aided by an American traitor) with an agenda to bring America down to her knees - and for quite some time they actually do.
The president sets all aside and alongside his staff - including Defense Secretary (Melissa Leo) - they rally to fend off one of the most horrific, violent attacks ever!
The brutal, brilliant, successful terrorist operation is led by a well groomed fashionista (Rick Yune) - who intensely oversees a high body count. Former Secret Service Agent (Gerald Butler) unleashes a one-man-army (a-la Bruce Willis) counteroffensive in the shattered, blown-out Oval Office.
On a side note: while the nation assumes downfall of the president and vice president, the Speaker of the House (Morgan Freeman) takes command of the country. At his side are head of the Secret Service (Angela Bassett) and a straight shooting general (Robert Forster); making all sorts of questionable decisions due to obvious insecurities.
The setup is pretty dumb, mirroring "Red Dawn" to a degree, but who gives a crap? Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) makes it so bleak and dark, it doesn't even matter. The stylish director takes full advantage when aiming at American icons - the White House and Washington Monument - courtesy of a plane; while large numbers of citizens run, dodge bullets and falling structures. Identical to scenes we're all too familiar with, only the attacks take place the day after Independence Day, ruffling patriotic feathers.
There's a lot in this film that insults ones' intelligence. One in which I personally question a B-52 Bomber-like plane having flown ACROSS the entire nation (west to east) undetected. Ok? If that doesn't defy logic, what will? Another issue I had (which I will not give away) there are specific scenes where certain action is taking place on one end - but the aftermath displays another. Very unappealing, and truly a blessing I didn't expect much from this movie other than a fun experience.
Overall, the film didn't down-play any of its action or adventure and never made an attempt to be more than what it actually portrayed itself to be. It's fast. It's rugged. It's extremely violent. But that's what we red-blooded Americans enjoy, so, bring it! (The crowd seemed to have enjoyed it and fed off a lot that isn't easy to swallow).
How will this do at the box office or among other critics? Who cares? Sometimes a little overkill is an intense high.
Grade: C+ / Genre: Action, Adventure, War / Rated: R / Run Time: 2 Hours
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd, Rick Yune, Dylan McDermott
Directed by: Antonie Fuqua
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