Director: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman
Review Written By: Michael Dalton (Prime Minister)
Olympus Has Fallen is Die Hard mixed with latter day 24. It’s silly, it’s cheesy but it’s also a lot of dumb, summer popcorn, explosion filled fun. Riddled with clichés, implausibility and predictability, Olympus Has Fallen has no surprises up its sleeves however it is fast-paced, bloody and if you’re an action fan, will hold your attention and entertain you from beginning to end. It is by no means, a ‘good’ film however it is also by no means a terrible film.
Whilst politically based, those looking for a political thriller would be better served elsewhere. This is not a film that deals with politics in a serious manner, instead merely using a political setting in order to once again rinse and repeat the Die Hard formula. However at least it doesn’t deal with its politics in quite the offensively stupid or jingoistic manner as it could have done and as others of its ilk have. Whilst ultimately very much an, ‘AMERICA!’ movie, it is not as nauseatingly patriotic as one might fear and didn’t feel like a propaganda piece.
The special effects in this film are terrible by today’s standards, generating laughter from my audience initially. However your eyes eventually adjust to the standard of the visuals and they cease to take you out of the action, once it truly gets going. However direction Antoine Fuqua handles the action sequences efficiently despite appearing to lack the budget and toys Roland Emmerich seems to have been lent for White House Down. This is an action movie with plenty of blood and hand to hand combat, which will please action fans who have become frustrated with the growing dilution of action cinema in order to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Fuqua also keeps the film moving at a quick pace and I was not bored for a second.
The script is expectedly cheesy, cliché and silly, with it ticking many boxes and leaving many holes along the way. However this is ultimately a film that requires a suspension of disbelief and acceptance of its logic or lack thereof in order to enjoy. Yes the script is terrible, but not offensively so and due to the way in which it is sold by the director and stars, there is some charm to be found in this film’s cheesiness. Gerard Butler continues to cement himself as an action star, with this perhaps being my favourite performance of his as he carries this film and demonstrates the charisma that I previously thought he lacked. While his and the scripts attempts to replicate the Jack Bauer and John McClane formula sometimes come off as forced, Butler is mostly successful in creating a relatable and likable protagonist.
Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman both have the look of Presidents and both are solid in this film, yet given their talents you can’t help but think the film doesn’t make the best use of them. Outside of these central three, the rest of the cast are merely canon fodder, although Dylan McDermott continues to carve out a nice niche for himself playing sleazy.
There is a twist regarding a certain character that is very shoddily explained and a love interest subplot that could and should have been removed, however neither of these were able to fully derail the film’s pace or tone. Overall Olympus Has Fallen does not contain the greatest writing, acting or special effects you will ever see. However if you are a fan of action cinema you can submerge yourself in the clichés and silliness and enjoy the bloody action, with the film being nowhere near as flag waving as it could have been. When accepted on its own terms, Olympus Has Fallen can be enjoyed as a fun, disposable, action-packed, at times unintentionally comedic time waster. If you go in expecting anything more than the hamburger of a film that this is offering, prepare to be disappointed.
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,
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