Gerard Butler is back with a vengeance! In Olympus Has Fallen, Butler plays former Presidential guard Mike Banning, who finds himself trapped inside the White House in the midst of a terrorist attack by North Korean militants. Using his knowledge and assisted by national security, he embarks on a mission to rescue the President, Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), who is being held hostage. Will he free the President and make it out alive? Will he save America from impending doom? And will his heroism translate to box office success? Read on!
The Good: Whoa, Olympus is a roller coaster ride of suspense! Director Antoine Fuqua (Shooter, Training Day) has done a splendid job of setting up the tension, and the combat scenes definitely make your heart race. And this flick boasts a dream cast: Butler, Eckhart, Morgan Freeman as Speaker Trumbull, Angela Bassett as Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs, Dylan McDermott as former Secret Service agent Forbes, and Melissa Leo (The Fighter) as Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan. Wow!
The Gay: My goodness, there are a lot of hot men in this flick! The parade of eye candy never stops! Butler doesn’t disappoint with his beefcake sexiness (I wish his shirtless scene was a bit longer, though), and Eckhart makes for a dashing President. Rick Yune as North Korean mastermind Kang is a sexy badass. Delicious Secret Service boys, military guys, cops…the list goes on. And add McDermott to the hot mix with his smouldering stare and chiseled features. His fight scene with Butler was so hot I wanted them to stop midway and start tearing their clothes off! Oh, a boy can dream.
And Bassett is FABULOUS as always. She looked amazing, and her presence is so commanding. When Angela is around, you know you’re in good hands. And what Angela says, goes. You go, girl!
The Bad: The plot definitely had some preposterous scenarios. And in a way, this movie made America’s national security look really weak. Who knew that you could take the President and his entire staff hostage just by assembling some militants armed with explosives and a computer hacker girl that looks like a Samsung model? And who needs the military when Butler can save the day? Yeah, America’s military might was very incompetent, here, folks. Thank goodness for Bassett and Freeman to call the shots! We need to elect them. Seriously. Our lives depend on it.
The screenplay is rife with cliché and fromage. Why do foreign terrorists have to speak like they’re freaking robots? Why do the bad guys have to sport Fu Man Chu mustaches and mangy hair? Not to mention these kinds of films often get stuck in patriotic drivel, and Olympus is no exception. Yes, we know that “America does not negotiate with terrorists.” But seriously, you don’t have to use that line. Blech.
The Fugly: This flick is VIOLENT. It ain’t pretty, folks. It’s a bloodbath. And the torture scenes were very unnerving. (Poor Ruth! She was definitely having a bad day!)
And a lot of the time the CG was TERRIBLE! For example, the scene where a tattered American flag was thrown off of the White House roof was so fake that its potential patriotic heartbreak moment was reduced to groans. Or the part where the Washington Monument was clipped by the wing of a crashing fighter plane? It was like a Michael Bay film on a budget. Ugh. So bad.
Does Olympus fall or fly?: Overall, Olympus Has Fallen is a suspense-filled action flick that succeeds, and I was actually pleasantly surprised by this highly entertaining movie. Although cliché-ridden, the eye-roll-inducing moments surprisingly didn’t take too much away from the plot twists and suspense. I definitely got sucked into the story. Plus, the cast is stellar. I say throw down your greenbacks for a chance to see Butler save the President and the good ol’ US of A.
The Grade: B+