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Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus Has Fallen: Flat On its Face

  • Aaron EckhartAaron Eckhart...
  • Action & AdventureThriller
  • Antoine Fuqua
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Olympus Has Fallen: Flat On its Face

When you take a look at the names attached to action-thriller, Olympus Has Fallen, you’ll probably find yourself thinking, “Hey, this doesn’t look too bad!” Directed by Antoine Fuqua – the man behind 2001 hit, Training Day – and led by the charming Scot, Gerard Butler, Olympus Has Fallen looks appealing on paper and should, by all accounts, deliver the goods. However, these initial perceptions quickly fall flat as soon as the ridiculous plotline starts to roll out.

Secret Service agent, Mike Banning (Butler), takes his job of protecting President Benjamin Asher (Eckhart), first-lady Margaret (Judd), and their young son Connor (Jacobsen), very seriously. Over his years of service, he develops a close relationship with the family which soon disintegrates when he fails to rescue Margaret from a deadly car accident.

Losing all credibility and any contact with the President himself, Mike is reassigned to a desk job in the nearby Treasury Department building. Unhappy and longing for the good old days, Mike’s relationship with his nurse wife (Mitchell) is deteriorating and his constant nagging to Secret Service Director, Lynn Jacobs (Bassett), is not helping him in scoring any brownie points, either.

Before long, Mike gets a chance to make amends and redeem himself in the eyes of the President, when North Korean terrorists – led by Kang Yeonsak (Yune) – invade the White House and take the President hostage. Now, the former Special Forces operator finds himself as the country’s only saviour and has to find a way of stopping the terrorists’ deadly plans.

Relentless flag-waving, extremely detailed and graphic suicide bombings, and massive explosions that topple much-loved landmarks, is Antoine Fuqua’s way of telling you that this in fact is an action film. Okay, we get it, but does everything have to be so literal? The dialogue, working from a script written by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, is cheesy and holds no substance; even the occasional humorous one-liners are misplaced and fail to provide the intended comic relief.

Considering the film’s premise, the performances are pretty tolerable. Butler holds the lead role well, while Eckhart does a solid job as the young commander in chief, even though he spends most of the time tied up. Adding a tad more substance to the story, Freeman, Bassett and Leo are criminally given small roles.

Waving goodbye to originality, Antoine Fuqua’s latest throw is brutal and disturbing, and ends up paying homage to every single action-film cliché out there, leading Olympus Has Fallen to fall flat on its face. 

Like This? Try

Die Hard (1988-2004), Air Force One (1997), Vantage Point (2008)

360 Tip

The role of the Secret Service director was originally written for a man. Director Antoine Fuqua persuaded Angela Bassett to audition and then had the role re-written for a woman – awww.

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