Friday, September 6, 2013

Movie Review ... Olympus Has Fallen


Olympus Has Fallen posterFans of 1980’s action movies will have déjà vu watching ‘Olympus Has Fallen’.  Featuring a hero dealing with past tragedy while battling an armada of foreign enemies, you expect Arnold Schwarzenegger to walk in at any moment.  He doesn’t but his spirit certainly hovers around this violent ode to spectacular excess.  Featuring more explosions than in a fire-works factory, its foray into pure silliness as just as eye-rolling as ones witnessed decades ago.

Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is the lead secret service agent assigned to protect the American President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart).  When a daring assault on the White House by a group of North Korean terrorists led by Kang (Rick Yune), Mike leaps to action.  With the help of House Speaker Allan (Morgan Freeman), he aims to free the captive President and strike at those foes wanting to destroy liberty.

‘Olympus Has Fallen’ is pure Hollywood trash.  Loaded with violence and very politically incorrect depictions of its villains, the aim for entertainment is dubious.  What it lacks in subtlety it slightly makes up for in action which is its main asset.  Director Antoine Fuqua grounds the nonsense with a gritty atmosphere.  This enables the viewer to feel they are right in amongst the heat of battle.  There are plenty of them with more shoot-outs than any John Wayne western.

The story is hardly original although Butler’s hero stand out is his knowledge of the enemy and the layout of the Oval Office.  How he navigates his way to the predictable finale maintains interest despite one-dimensional performances.  It provides some tense moments amongst the mayhem although its adherence to genre formula makes it less than memorable.

Full of noise and ferocious gun-play ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ should satisfy undemanding target audiences.  Its mechanical feel and slavish copying from the action-movie handbook reveals its unoriginality becomes the ultimate unbeatable villain.

Olympus Has Fallenstill 007

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  5

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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