Loyal Protection Dies Hard
Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) was once the President's (Aaron Eckhart) number one security guard, they were on first name terms, trained in the ring together and was even trusted to look after the Number One son. That is until one night a road accident forced Mike to make the tough choice to save the President's life at the cost of the First Lady's. It leads to Mike being removed from the President's team and shifted to a desk job in the Treasury whilst dealing with the trauma of what happened on his own. But when the Whitehouse is taken by terrorists Mike is the main man that the secret service have to rely on in order to take back control of the Whitehouse and to save the President and his son.
Say it loud, say it proud, say it with slow motion action, big bangs, big special effects and people staring in to the distance, yes "Olympus Has Fallen" is wonderfully over the top to the point of being ridiculous but say hell yeah to some Yippee ki-yay action. That pretty much sums up "Olympus Has Fallen" nicely, it is the stuff which children use to play with toy guns, pretending to be the hero who saves the day against insurmountable odds, jumping and shooting as you know real heroes do or at least according to PC Danny Butterman that is.
Anyway to try and get serious for a minute "Olympus Has Fallen" feels like someone has combined their favourite bits of various action movies over the years. So we have Gerard Butler playing a sort of Bruce Willis character which makes me think they could have made this as part of the "Die Hard" franchise. But then the writer seems to also have a bit of a thing for Stallone movies with Mike being a troubled character that use to have a position of importance as in "Daylight". And then the writer has combined it with terrorists taking control of the Whitehouse which in truth back in 1999 there was a movie called "Loyal Opposition" which sort of did this. Even some twists such as a traitor with in the ranks fails to make it any more original.
But whilst I could bemoan the lack of original ideas "Olympus Has Fallen" is what it is, big bang entertainment for the popcorn munching crowd who like the Earth to move as the bass from the speakers cause the room to vibrate. And as popcorn entertainment it has the right cast with Gerard Butler embracing his action man side whilst Morgan Freeman brings some gravitas to the proceedings as the Vice President. Then there is Aaron Eckhart who seems to have studied Harrison Ford for the best way to play the President and also bringing some mid 90s performance to the mix is Angela Bassett as well as Dylan McDermott. But the biggest smile for me is seeing Rick Yune in dapper bad guy mode again and being a smooth operator with it.
What this all boils down to is that "Olympus Has Fallen" isn't anything new but what it does it does well for those seeking some action packed popcorn entertainment. Everything about it is cliche but sometimes cliche done to the max is all that is called for.