2013 / Director. Antoine Fuqua.
OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN can be summed up with a few simple words; stupid, cliched and rubbish. But I choose to use words like; ka-pow! bam! and ye-har! This big, loud and action packed blockbuster could easily be mistaken for a Roland Emmerich movie and a quick search will reveal that Emmerich actually has just made a carbon copy called White House Down (I am yet to see it). A sudden and unexpected aerial assault strikes Washington DC with brutal force and within 13 minutes the White House has been captured and the president and key staff are held hostage in the bunker. With the entire security force crippled it's up to one lone ex-secret service agent to infiltrate the building and extract the president. It's a typical and generic premise that essentially plays out like Die Hard (exactly like Die Hard). Ah fuck it, I had a great time with this one. The VFX are really bad and the first 15 minutes of the movie could easily be mistaken for an Asylum mockbuster (I'd be keen to see the Asylum's take on this). Thankfully all of these ludicrous and over-indulgent FX are assigned to the initial scenes of attack and the rest of the story takes place from within. Gerard Butler plays the lone agent taking down one bad guy after another (John Mcclane meets Jack Bauer). He laps up this role and his enthusiasm shows. The violence is surprisingly graphic for this type of movie with plenty of bloodshed and brutal kills. It actually thrills me to see a return to this type of movie-violence in a blockbuster capacity... it's a throwback to the big bold bang-for-buck flicks of the 80s. Morgan Freeman plays the acting-president and he pretty much phones his performance in. He's been there, done that and to be honest I'm becoming tired of him lately. I thought the depiction of the president was one of the movie's strengths. Played by Aaron Eckhart, he's a young tough guy. His mannerisms and down-to-earth nature with his staff is a lot different to the way the president is usually portrayed in these types of flicks. An amusing touch was the inclusion of Australian broadcast journalist Hamish MacDonald covering the events. I will assume that various regions of the world were treated to their own local personalities in his place. It's a kitschy gimmick but kind of cool I suppose. Anyway, you can go into this movie with the wrong frame of mind and set yourself up for disappointment... OR you could take it for what it's worth and just go along for the ride. Good fun.