#REVIEW: “OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN”
Imagine an America without a President, where Terrorists have free reign over the White House, deciding the fate of a Nation, ultimately impacting the World. Olympus Has Fallen is the latest in a litany of post 9/11-inspired Films, this one from acclaimed Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) envisioning a vulernable America under-siege.
The Film centers on former Presidential Guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), whom we see relegated to Desk Duty after he fails to protect during a tragic accident. We have here a story of redemption as he finds himself within the White House once again, fighting to bring the President (Aaron Eckhart) to safety after he and his most trusted are held captive by a group of highly-trained Terrorists, who successfully infiltrate Olympus (The White House) with the help of a Traitor. As Mike edges his way closer to the President, more is unraveled about Terrorist Mastermind Kang‘s (Rick Yune) intentions, and more than ever timing is crucial with the fate of America potentially being doomed irreversibly.
Tonally, Olympus Has Fallen is unique in that it is every bit a gripping Political-Thriller as it is a ballsy Action Flick. At once it knows fully its own entertainment value with high octane explosions, powerful punches and bloody jabs on full display. The juxtaposition of mundane-speak against what clearly is a catastrophic backdrop, plays perfectly in giving the Film a dimension of Humour. As Eckhart‘s President sums-it-up succinctly, “It’s been a rough day”, indeed.
Beyond the explosions and gratuitous violence, Butler is at his finest in this stamina-challenging role, silencing his toughest Critics finally with brute force. The underrated Eckhart as always, puts his best foot forward despite being bound for much of the Film, while a convincing Dylan McDermott gets a welcome return to the Big Screen with a career resurgence of late thanks to the popularity of American Horror Story. Melissa Leo is barely as Secretary of Defense showing true grit, not receivng Ladylike Treatment at all and a familiarly steely Yune applies those fighting abilities to good use, effective as the unexpected Villain. The brilliant talents of Angela Bassett and Morgan Freeman are present, but somehow lost in the mix.
VVS Films releases Olympus Has Fallen on March 22, 2013. Moviegoers should enjoy the rise.