¨United States of America doesn't negotiate with terrorists.¨
Olympus Has Fallen reminded me a lot of those action films in the 90's that I grew up loving. The only problem is that I just don't feel the same way about those movies anymore. These action packed films follow a very similar formula and despite the great performance from Gerard Butler in the lead role I couldn't help but feel that the film lacked originality. I felt the tension and the suspense while I was watching this action packed film, but at the same time I kept on thinking to myself how stupid the plot was. This is a film that would have been a lot better if it used some comedy and didn't take itself so seriously. A lot of comparisons to Die Hard have been made because it follows pretty much the same exact formula, except for the fact that Die Hard had some comedic moments that allowed the audience to not take everything so seriously. This could have been a great plot for a Die Hard film. Antoine Fuqua has made some great films, but none of them have reached the potential of his 2001 Training Day. Olympus Has Fallen is an improvement over Tears of the Sun and King Arthur, but Fuqua still hasn't managed to deliver as strong a film as he did with that one starring Denzel Washington. I wasn't won over by this film, but I think it will win a lot of fans due to the action packed thrills and great performances by the strong cast. It was a lot better than what I thought it would be.
The film centers on Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) a former President Guard who is sent to work for the Treasury Department after the President's (Aaron Eckhart) wife passes away in a terrible traffic accident. Banning hates his new desk job and desperately wants back in at the White House. The opportunity comes when a terrorist group from North Korea attacks the Oval office and holds the President hostage in the bunker along with several other important American officials. Despite the Army and Secret Service's efforts they could do nothing to prevent the attack, and the only man inside the White House that can do something is Banning. Meanwhile the Speaker of the House, Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) is now in charge of the country and begins communicating with the terrorist leader, Kang (Rick Yune) who makes his demands. The people from the Pentagon are forced to put their trust on Banning who is the only man who can give them inside information. This is Banning's opportunity for redemption as the President's life is on the line.
Despite being formulaic, the film does something a little different. There are several casualties here as several civilians get killed. People who still suffer from post 9-11 trauma might want to stay away from this movie because there are a lot of scenes that will remind them of that episode. The action is packed and there are several moments of tension because several people are killed off. Fuqua wasn't afraid to show the amount of casualties lost from the attack. Other than that the film follows pretty much the same formula action junkies have come to love from action films like Die Hard, Air Force One, and Con Air. Despite the silliness of the premise, many people might enjoy this film. It was a lot better than I expected, but I still can't recommend it for its lack of originality. Olympus Has Fallen is loud, action-packed, and appeals to your patriotic senses.