Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen
“Olympus Has Fallen” is an action thriller featuring Secret Service Agents, the President of the United States (a fictitious one, of course, not Obama), and North Korean terrorists. It stars Gerard Butler as agent Mike Banning, Aaron Eckhart as President Benjamin Asher, and Morgan Freeman as Speaker Trumbull. Those are the only names I really recognize; the only other major character is the head terrorist Kang, played by Rick Yune.
Anyway, the story begins on Christmas. While en route from Camp David to a Christmas benefit, the President’s motorcade encounters a winter storm and suffers an accident. The President’s wife dies, but agent Banning manages to save the President before their car goes over a cliff. Unfortunately, as the story progresses, the President shifts Banning to the Treasury Department because he doesn’t want to be constantly reminded about the accident. All returns to normal, at least, for a while: Eighteen months later there is a surprise terrorist assault on the White House masterminded by the North Korean terrorist Kang. It begins with an aerial assault and ends with a ground-based assault (a hefty group of terrorists disguised as tourists) that kills pretty much everyone there, except the important officials (including the President) who are kidnapped and taken to the bunker underneath. Fortunately for everyone, especially the President, agent Mike Banning is on the scene and he goes about the seemingly impossible task of rescuing the group of kidnapped officials as well as the President’s son. To add to the tension, the terrorists are after the codes for the secret military Cerberus program, a fail-safe program designed to detonate American nuclear missiles that have been accidentally launched by the U.S. or launched by clever terrorist groups who have hacked our systems or gained control of a launch site. However, the designers of the program never imagined what Kang and his group of terrorists plan: detonating the missiles while still in their silos to wreak unparalleled destruction on the entire United States (I think this was intended as a twist, but I saw it coming, or at least, saw the flaw right away).
Strengths: well, the plot was well-connected, everything flowed together, and the acting was fine. Weaknesses: the “twist” that the North Koreans wanted to detonate the nukes in their silos was kind of obvious to me (so I don’t feel guilty about spoiling it). Nothing else seems to stick out as a weakness or strength. The movie was fine for what it was: an action-packed, blow everything and everybody up type of movie. It wasn’t too intellectual and it was easy to follow. And as far as I could tell, there were no gaping holes in the logic of it.
Overall, I’ll give it three and a half stars.