Olympus Has Fallen
dir Antoine Fuqua
scr Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
prd Gerard Butler, Ed Cathell III, Mark Gill, Alan Siegel
with Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Robert Forster, Rick Yune, Radha Mitchell, Finley Jacobsen, Dylan McDermott, Cole Hauser, Ashley Judd
release US 22.Mar.13, UK 17.Apr.13
13/US Millennium 2h00
Olympus Has Fallen
Holding out for a hero: Butler and Eckhart

freeman bassett leo
See also:
London Has Fallen (2016)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Olympus Has Fallen With the production values of a Michael Bay epic and a script on par with, say, Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, this film is such a ridiculous concoction that you can't help but dissolve into helpless laughter by the time it reaches its unintentionally hilarious finale. Take it seriously at your peril.

After a harrowing accident, Secret Service agent Mike (Butler) is transferred from protecting the President (Eckhart). But he keeps an eye on the White House from his office, and when a band of Korean militants led by unification nutcase Kang (Yune) storms the Oval Office, Mike kicks into action. The President and his Defense Secretary (Leo) are among the hostages while, at the Pentagon, the top dogs plot a course of action. But of course Mike is on the inside.

There are clear parallels to Die Hard in the haunted hero who's the last hope for an entire nation, and barely a single line of dialog is missing some sort of jingoistic exclamation of patriotic machismo. Even Leo says little more than "You'll have to kill me first", while Bassett is reduced to expressing outrage at every American icon destroyed by these pesky foreigners. Meanwhile, Eckhart is brave and stoic, Freeman rises to the challenge and Forster loses his rag.

But this is Butler's show, and he proves adept at stepping into the meathead shoes of Willis, Stallone and Schwarzenegger, killing anyone who moves with whatever's at hand (including, in a rare moment of knowing wit, an Abe Lincoln bust). Lucky for him, the White House security system is woefully inept, because it allows this mayhem to take place so he can prove himself useful again. And also because his old clearances and passwords still work.

Director Fuqua goes for broke with thrillingly huge action and nasty fights. But the film's ace in the hole is a spectacularly ludicrous defence gadget called Cerberus (Freeman actually proclaims, "They've breached the gates of hell!"), which triggers the corny countdown to one of the funniest moments in recent movie history. Not that the actors or filmmakers intended it to be so riotously silly. Who knew Fuqua could direct comedy?

cert 15 themes, language, violence 27.Mar.13

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