Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  Perfect star who has hopefully gotten away from making romantic comedies, perfect director who knows how to craft this type stuff and a perfect bad guy who is one half GQ model and all sick bastard.  Now… this isn't to say that 'Olympus has Fallen' is a perfect movie… oh good heavens no… it's not even a perfect action movie, but it is perfectly ridiculous, perfectly stupid and perfectly entertaining.

Our film begins with President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and his top Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) doing a little sparring in the ring at Camp David.  Once Mike lays a nice one-two to the President's jaw, being as how one probably shouldn't hit the prez in the face, I kind of figured we were in for a different kind of movie.  This is just a warm up as the prez, his first lady Margaret (Ashley Judd) and their son Connor (Finley Jacobson) are getting ready to go to some fundraiser.  The weather is frightful, the roads are slick, and while one would think Cadillac One would have some kind of traction control to account for this kind of thing, there is a terrible accident.  Banning makes a call, it's the right call, but tragically because of his call, a member of the first family won't make it on this night.

Fast forward eighteen or so months, Mike is off the Secret Service detail, pushing papers at the treasury department, not because he did anything wrong or even because The President is upset with him, but because Mike reminds him of that awful night.  On this particular day though President Asher is meeting with the Prime Minister of South Korea to discuss some pressing North Korean type stuff… but there's trouble on the way.  Say like a giant C130 flying into our airspace mere miles from the White House before we finally scramble some jets to check it out.  Could this really happen?  Of course not… and now the fun begins. 
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This jumbo jet with its super guns unloads on the Washington D.C. faithful and the White House something awful, but fortunately we were able to scurry the President and his staff to the super secure bunker.  The Prez, being all concerned and stuff, ordered his people to allow the Prime Minister and his security detail into the bunker as well.  It's not protocol, and only a President that's a total idiot would allow this, but that President Asher is a really nice guy.  Guess what?  The entire South Korean diplomatic party from the chief of security to the limo drivers… all North Korean evil operatives.  Except the Prime Minister himself.  South Korea has a really crappy I.D. process when it comes to hiring government officials.  This Axis of Evil is led by the crazy evil Mr. Kang (Rick Yune) who has orchestrated an amazing attack on American soil, is now in control of just about everything and he really likes to shoot people in the head.  Olympus has fallen, pretty much every secret service agent on the planet is dead, and our government is in the hands of a madman.  We will casually forget that the North Koreans couldn't even fire off a decent missile a few years ago.

But not so fast!  Mike Bannen saw all of this go down from his window at the treasury and he has made his way to white house, shooting people in the face along the way, and he is inside and ready to cause a ruckus.  Since the Prez and the Vice are disabled right now, the presidential duties now fall to the Speaker, who happens to be played by Morgan Freeman who has some experience being a president in dark situations, so you know our country is in good hands for the next couple of hours.  Regardless, Kang has a plan, it's an evil plan, and he needs the President's son to complete this evil plan.  Bannen has a plan too.  Shoot people in the face and stab them in the brain.  His plan is awesome.  Can one man do battle against three dozen highly skilled, expertly trained terrorist and win?  What do you think?

Why does 'Olympus has Fallen' work even though it's stupid to a fault.  Antoine Fuqua directs for starters, and it doesn't get much better than this guy when it comes to crafting these kinds of movies.  'Olympus has Fallen' goes and it goes, and just when it is about to slow down, it goes some more.  Then there's Gerard Butler as Bannen playing a mix of Dirty Harry and John Rambo, with just a touch of Josef Mengele, only with much more colorful language.  It also helps that this is one of the more violent movies we've recently seen.  If you had a brain in this movie, not that any of the characters actually used theirs, but if they had one the chances were it was going to be painting the walls of the White House at some point.  And Rick Yune as Kang was just an awful person, like any decent bad guy should be.  Commie bastard.  This was Jingoistic propaganda done right!

Sometimes when we watch a movie like this you might be a little concerned that something like this could really happen.  We take comfort in knowing that nothing in this movie could really happen.  Nothing.  It is completely unbelievable from its first frame to its last.  Plus there are a few gaping plot holes that Fuqua just blows past because explaining how this or that could happen would involve dialog and logic, and that's nothing that this movie was shooting for.

As a side note, if the U.S. does have a triple code process to self destruct the nukes we launch, one that has no override, the five minute countdown to this self-destruct sequence probably makes the self-destruct concept null and void.  Since these nukes will probably hit their targets before the five minute countdown is up.  Just saying is all.

'Olympus has Fallen'.  If you're going to make an action movie, don't make it a little stupid as that is annoying.  Make it perfectly stupid. 
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