Friday, November 29, 2013

Film Review: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Olympus Has Fallen (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"This is a brainless popcorn blockbuster, and a good one at that."

After President Asher's (Aaron Eckhart) wife dies in a fatal car accident, lead Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is relieved and placed into the Treasury Department. 18 months after, the South Korean Prime Minister arrives at the White House with unexpected guests...

Olympus Has Fallen continues with a double-crossing of sorts as a North Korean guerilla unit raids the White House and takes the President and other high ranking officials hostage. Fortunately, special ops super soldier Mike Banning is able to assist his former team and infiltrates the White House. After the chaotic raid, Banning has to save the President's son and the President himself from within using any weapon he can get bid hands on and hand-to-hand combat. Thereafter, the terrorists intentions are revealed and the stakes raise. The ending is what you would expect, but it is executed well enough.

In order to really enjoy Olympus Has Fallen, you'll have to suspend belief for two hours. Yeah, we all know this whole situation really isn't plausible for several reasons. And, yeah, the whole "special ops, super soldier" character is an extreme cliché. But, the action sequences are superb and very consistent. Shootouts there, close-quarter-combat here, and explosions everywhere. There is some great suspense and tension, and the raid sequence is fantastic. This is a brainless popcorn blockbuster, and a good one at that. Oh, and if you're anti-U.S., you'll probably dislike the vibe of the film or confuse it with propaganda; I didn't see it that way, I think it lacks the brains needed for propaganda. Just watch it for the action, keep the politics out of mind, and you'll have a solid experience.

The acting is great from the entire cast. Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman are all great in their roles. The characters are cliché, especially the North Korean villains. The special effects were mediocre during many of the scenes, particularly any sequence with planes or helicopters, they felt very out of place and low budget. However, the rest of the action was well executed. Antoine Fuqua directs a consistent action film. The writing is also easy and smooth, although the dialogue is very cheesy.

Overall, Olympus Has Fallen delivers enough action to justify the two hour runtime. It has some bad special effects, cliché characters, and very mozzarella (cheesy) dialogue, though. Great for a night in.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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