Olympus Has Fallen is, for all practical purposes, a modern remake of Die Hard that replaces Bruce Willis with Gerard Butler and Nakatomi Tower with the White House. Butler puts in a respectable performance as Mike Banning. Director Antoine Fuqua did as well as could be done with the story, and some gripping action makes it almost watchable. But the downfall of the film was its lazy writing. Almost no part of Olympus Has Fallen is remotely believable. A single airplane penetrates into protected airspace around Washington D.C. and riddles the White House with bullets. It takes 15 minutes for armed reinforcements to arrive. The President of the United States risks the annihilation of a peaceful ally nation to prevent an acquaintance of his from being beaten up. I could go on. And on. For this reason, the movie is somewhat painful to watch. You will certainly find yourself complaining loudly at the screen. And yet the action is riveting. Watch this movie, then try to forget it. 5.5/10.
Out of the wealth of "_Die Hard in an (X)_" movies that are on offer, "_Die Hard in the White House_" is an.... okay one. The story is old hat and the CGI is awful, but the sequence of the initial attack on the White House isn't just good, it's great. _Final rating:★★½ - Had a lot that appealed to me, didn’t quite work as a whole._
The Movie Diorama
Olympus Has Fallen ironically insults America’s national security through lunacy and patriotism. “Die Hard in the White House” claims British lads’ magazine Zoo, divulging into the testosterone-fuelled minds of its laddish readers. To be fair to them, Fuqua’s patriotic perspective of a national terrorist attack is exactly that. A ‘Die Hard’ rip-off that relies on the same narrative rhythms beat-for-beat. One man, and only one man, can save the day by gradually depleting the numbers of the antagonistic gang that harness either monetary or diplomatic motives. But where the aforementioned feature excelled, this action extravaganza flopped. In apparently thirteen minutes, the entire Secret Service force is massacred at the hands of Korean ultra-nationalists, at the White House, in the middle of the day. “The most secure building in the world” exclaimed one of the useless decision makers attempting to assist the Acting President. Yeah. That’s an armoury of irony right there. Olympus Has Fallen is so unrealistic in plot, that for the majority of its runtime you’re left baffled as to how any of it was conceptualised. Fully trained Security guards joyfully skip towards barrages of bullets. Protocols are broken left, right and centre. The frickin’ Army Chief of Staff sends a fleet of armed helicopters into a danger zone despite already acknowledging the opposition acquiring a ridiculously overpowered turret. Boom! Dead. The lack of intelligence for its characters is, quite frankly, insulting. Especially when this action blockbuster is supposed to be shrouded in patriotism. The worst offender though is the obtuse amount of horrifically rendered visual effects. From blatantly obvious green screens to clunky polygonal helicopters floating around aimlessly. It was as if the team played ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ and directly extracted the models from it. Just woefully terrible. Fortunately Butler emanated his “tough guy” brutality in the central role, because he was continually stabbing Koreans through the skull, throat and legs. A convincingly physical role that was perfectly suited to his acting style, enabling him to destroy his opponents whilst injecting some light buoyancy. Unfortunately the screenplay is limited in the “fun” department, taking the narrative extremely seriously, which hindered the nostalgic cheesiness of 80s action blockbusters that Fuqua took inspiration from. Speaking of, his directing style was taut as expected, with much focus on the shenanigans taking place within the Presidential bunker. But the frenetic editing hindered his clarity. Eckhart provided strength as the President, but as usual, picks lacklustre films to repress his talent. Freeman shouted at one point and I quivered. Bassett, Mitchell and Yune were underused and Leo overacted. Oh, and who stops a countdown at three seconds? Let it go down to one! Create that suspense for flip sake! So yes, for thirsty action viewers who crave violence blended with one-dimensional characters, unintelligent plot points and obscene amounts of polygonal visual effects, Olympus Has Fallen has got you covered. However, if you prefer your action blockbusters with an ounce of excitement, might I suggest a minuscule film called ‘Die Hard’?
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