HOLLYWOOD—“Olympus Has Fallen” is a disaster movie to some degree. It presents the idea that the end of the world is imminent, but it’s not at the hands of Mother Nature or outer space. This explosive picture is all about the White House. When the White House is taken over by a terrorist mastermind and the President is held hostage, who can the nation rely on to save the world.
Our hero is Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), a former Special Forces Operator, who relegated to desk duty after a tragic accident. The picture has an all-star cast that includes several Oscar nominees and winners that include Morgan Freeman as Speaker Allan Trumball, Angela Bassett as Lynne Jacobs and Melissa Leo as Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillian.
Other supporting players in the picture include the President himself portrayed by Aaron Eckhart and the First Lady played by Ashley Judd. There are some tense moments inside the Pentagon as Speaker of the House Turmball and Jacobs decide the best tactic to rescue the President and protect the American public from warfare.
The picture is directed by Antoine Fuqua, the guy behind Denzel Washington’s Oscar-winning performance in “Training Day.” Fuqua has some experience in the action arena with his involvement in movies “The Replacement Killers,” “Shooter” and “Brooklyn’s Finest.” He stages the action in increments to not just throw explosions and gunfire at the audience at every given opportunity, that action is presented at perfect timing to keep the audience on the edge of their seat.
The villain to our protagonist (Banning) is none other than Rick Yune as Kang, aNorth Koreaterrorist bent on gaining overall control of the White House to implement his plan. He’s visceral and has little remorse for human life. The movie is written by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt that presents a tense game of come and find me involving Banning and Kang. Whoever is the smarter party will prevail in the long run, and who better to outwit a terrorist than the guy who knows the White House inside and out.
“Olympus Has Fallen” clocks in a little over two hours, but it’s a slam-dunk full of explosions, death, fist fights and cheesy dialogue that will please action aficionados across the country.
By LaDale Anderson