Movie Review – Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus has Fallen in one frame
The entire story of Olympus has Fallen in one frame.

With a title like Olympus Has Fallen, the premise should be as clear as the scope on a sniper’s rifle. I’ll do my best to cover the basics of the movie but, I promise you that Olympus Has Fallen isn’t one of those ‘thinking’ movies.

Former Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is at his new desk, in his new job, pushing papers when the unthinkable happens. Terrorists in a military plane are strafing civilians and security alike in the vicinity of the White House. He’s a former agent for a good reason. In a completely unnecessary opening scene, Banning saves President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and the first kid Connor (Finley Jacobsen) from a single car accident in the middle of a blizzard, somewhere near Camp David in Maryland. Months later, terrorists attack the White House, codename: Olympus. And as the title has blatantly states, Olympus Has Fallen.

Aaron Eckhart after reading the rumors of 'The Core' sequel
Aaron Eckhart after reading the rumors of ‘The Core’ sequel

With the President, Vice President Rodriguez (Phil Austin) and key members of Cabinet ‘sequestered’, the Speaker of the House Alan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) assumes the role of Commander in Chief, while negotiating with the terrorists, and devising his counter-attack. If by some chance a trigger-happy ex top Secret Service Agent were around to settle the score for America, that would help the counter-attack. He would need a special set of skills, but not in the Liam Neeson way.

He’d need to have a photographic blueprint of the White House memorized, current security codes for top secret weapons caches, even though he doesn’t currently work there. Also, he’d need a to be a master of several weapons and of hand-to-hand combat. If, by some inexplicable reasoning, you haven’t figured out that Gerard Butler will murder all of the terrorists without prejudice or hesitation, then you really need to think less of this movie.

There's still room on the bus I'm sending you to hell on.
There’s still room on the bus I’m sending you to hell on.

My only genuine bit of interest comes from trying to figure out what city stood in for Washington, DC. Being a native Washingtonian, I like to point out the potentially real locations from the stock footage or green screen work. I’d like to read your guesses in the comments section below.

The terrorists make demands and threats, but there is no real reason to believe anything other that Mike Banning will have to add Terrorist Killer to his resume. Given the current political climate in key areas of U.S. interest, Olympus  could be a bit more insightful than it is. A political thriller along the lines of Patriot Games or even Air Force One would be a better vehicle to unleash Gerard Butler. Instead we’re left with a moderately satisfying display of pyrotechnics during a 100 minute gun ballet.

Reel Film News Review by: Jahmal

Verdict: C

Rated: R @ 120 minutes

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