When the White House, and the American President, are taken hostage by a group of terrorists, it is up to out of favour treasury agent, Mike Banning to save the day before the world is in turmoil and the United States is turned into a waste land.
As to be expected from any movie involving terrorists and the White House, there is blood, bodies, and big booms galore. Vastly out-numbered, Banning finds himself in the middle of the action after being removed from the Presidential security assignment. Aaron Eckhart plays President Asher, and the hero of the hour, Banning is played by the constantly frowning Gerard Butler. Butler does seem to have a permanent facial expression that could be mistaken for either a frown or a painful case of constipation. As an action hero, when not wearing a robe and carrying a spear, Butler comes from the Dark Knight school of whispery voices. With the President out of action, the presidency falls to the speaker of the house, played by Morgan Freeman who has now played both God and President. A powerful actor if ever there was one, he is not required to strain many acting muscles in this movie, as his role does not call for much variation. Rick Yune, who was also one of the main villains in Die Another Day, plays a cool and controlled head terrorist who seems to have planned everything perfectly.
Olympus has Fallen has good and bad points, some of which are not unique to this movie. Why is it that when there are photographs of the characters, they always appear to have been photoshopped by a Grade 3 student with ADHD? Is it so difficult to take an actual photograph of the actors rather than digitally trying to put their heads on other people’s bodies? It cannot be as difficult as it obviously is photoshopping the images is!
A danger of any movie that features the President of the United States and any kind of attack on it is that there are always moments of patriotic imagery, raising the flag, and the seemingly obligatorily speech about how strong the country is and so forth. A perfect example of this would be Independence Day which trundles along quite nicely until Bill Pullman pulls out a great big helping of cheese and interrupts the action with a stirring speech about how America is great and so forth.
There are quite a few scenes in the movie that are very reminiscent of the late Tony Scott’s movies. Camera filters coloring scenes with graduations of orange which does give the movie a stylish look only for them to be lost as soon as the action heats up.
Olympus has Fallen isn’t a bad movie, nor is it likely to be nominated for any awards but it is a good movie, tense, with thrills galore. On the Die Hard scale of movies, Olympus is a good 7 out of ten.