Olympus Has Fallen
When I was twelve years old, I was on my second trip to Washington D.C. with my family; this was the first (and currently only) time I had ever visited the White House. Going in with my parents and brother, I was amazed by the interior. I had felt like that I had just entered the castle that represented our nation, with knights (secret servicemen) as the loyal guards. I was slowly going through each room, looking for the president unaware he wasn’t even home that day. As clean and prestige the home was, I knew I couldn’t stay in there all day; that would have put the other tourists way behind schedule. I felt partisan walking out where the rest of my country lied.
I had been around Washington D.C. a couple of times (my last trip being three years ago). Each trip had gotten only better with discovery. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this city would probably become the east coast home, if I should ever chose to move. I’m happy in Southern California, but Washington had something that the west doesn’t have. I think it’s more of a patriotic sense. The White House becomes the sight of a terrorist attack in Olympus Has Fallen.
Serving for the President is former Army Ranger Mike Banning (played by Gerard Butler) who is a favorite of the secret service. He maintains a more personal, friendly relationship with President Benjamin Asher (played by Aaron Eckhart). During a harsh winter at Camp David, they are enrooting to a Christmas party when icy roads causes a collision on a bridge. Despite saving Benjamin, the First Lady is tragedy in the motorcade as it plunges into the frozen river below. Two years later, Mike is now working for the U.S. Treasury, as the event has made him too much of a reminder to the President of his widow.
As noted on July 5, 2012, the South Korean Prime Minister is visiting to discuss the rising tension from the north. During a meeting with the President, a stolen Military plane gunship attacks the city, putting down innocent people as a Korean gruella group leads an attack on the White House. Benjamin and some of his staff make it to the underground bunker, but traitors within security take control, which results in everyone becoming a hostage. Mike manages to fight his way in the house, as he becomes the John McClane of the movie, becoming the only hope for the rescue of the hostages and the tack back of Washington.
Watching this movie, I couldn’t help but thinking that this reminded me of another “political action” film called Air Force One. Though I know it’s kind of a dumb movie, it remains a guilty pleasure. Olympus Has Fallen is almost in that category. The story is downplayed, but can’t escape the fact that the motives of the terrorist are for revenge. Plus it’s very far fetched that this one man could do what none of the other secret service agents are trained for; protecting the president.
This feels like the missing sequel for the Die Hard franchise. Gerald Butler is spotting off catchphrases and making the audience laugh with his surprise tatics on the guerrillas and saying the badass material. At least his performance is very good. Without going too far, he fights and shoots like a lot of the macho supermen from the classic action films, plus he’s very likable. Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, and Angela Bassett are used to their acting advantages as they all look and play like real politicians. I guess when you look at this, the acting feels very genuine next for the story which goes overboard in the third act.
I’ll give this four secret service glasses out of five. I think this also falls into my guilty pleasures file. It’s dumb, but it’s entertaining, popcorn dumb.