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Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Olympus Has Fallen

Director:
Antoine Fuqua

Starring:
Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman

Other notable appearances:
Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd

Running time:
119 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
The Die Hard series, Executive Decision, The Expendables

 

The White House has been taken by North Korean terrorists. President Asher (Eckhart) is a hostage in his own safe bunker. The President’s son, Connor, has evaded capture and is hiding somewhere in the White House. It’s now up to former Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Butler) to find Connor before the terrorists and save the President.

I loved this movie, but it is not for the faint of heart. The body count is incredibly high and the realism of the situation makes it slightly chilling. However, if you like good old fashioned action movies then this isn’t one to miss.

You get 21 minutes of backstory and then the first plane is shot down. From that moment on the pace is fast, furious and filled with explosions.

Olympus Has Fallen has been compared in some circles to Die Hard. For this reviewer there was a considerable lack of one-liners which takes away from this comparison, but I can see why the writers would have refrained from making overly light of the subject matter. Also, the release of Olympus Has Fallen was very close to the release of the similar yet more light-hearted and humorous White House Down. There was one brilliant line that made me laugh out loud though and, if you watch Olympus Has Fallen, you will know it when you hear it.

Morgan Freeman is outstanding as Speaker Trumbull. This is particularly remarkable given that Freeman’s character is seen in two rooms for the duration of the film. The role of Speaker Trumbull could have been portrayed as dispassionate, unimportant or even boring in the wrong hands. Proof (as if any was needed) that Freeman can almost steal an entire show with very little with which to work.

Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart both perform admirably in their roles as Secret Service Agent and President respectively.

Olympus Has Fallen is a reasonably long movie at nearly two hours, but it never feels long. Every moment is used to its full advantage and the time flies by in a cacophony of explosions, gun shots and a plethora of f-bombs. The only criticism I have of the movie was that there was A LOT of f-bombs dropped. I’m not sensitive to profanity by any stretch of the imagination, however I do find that when it is overused to this extent, it seems to lose some of its punch. Although, granted if I were in the same situation as the characters, I would probably replace every word with a profanity.

Overall Olympus Has Fallen is best suited to viewers who enjoy fast-paced, no holds barred action movies. I would most recommend Olympus Has Fallen to fans of the ‘golden age of action movies’ when Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Seagal and van Damme were in their prime. Olympus Has Fallen has the feel of one of these classics, but with a little less cheese.

Rating: 4/5

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