Sunday, 16 June 2013

Film Review: Olympus Has Fallen

About the film
Olympus Has Fallen is a 2013 action/ thriller film. The film has a run time of 120 minutes and is rated 15.

After a terrible accident involving the President and the First Lady, Mike Banning becomes a disgraced member of the Secret Service. When the White House is captured by terrorists and the President is kidnapped, Mike finds himself jumping in to the situation. His knowledge of the White House could be the key to saving the President. With the national security team struggling to even breach the front door, the situation is left solely in the hands of Mike and he has one hell of a mission on his hands if he is to save the President and the White House.

What I thought
With so many good looking films coming out at the cinema recently, it was hard deciding which to see before I left Nottingham (I no longer have my Cineworld Unlimited card). On a night where I had nothing else to do, my flatmate and I decided to go and see this one, as I had heard such good things about it.

Mike Banning is a member of the secret service, protecting the President. On one terribly icy night, he is put in a situation where he can only save one person and of course, he saves the President instead of the First Lady. After this, he becomes disgraced and no longer a member of the team. He is forced into a job he hates and wants back on the President’s detail. Playing Banning is Gerard Butler and what a good job he does too. To begin with, he gives the character a cool and collected personality, which is definitely needed due to his job. After the accident, he becomes a bit more broken down but still determined to get his life back on track.

When the White House is overtaken by terrorists while President Asher is meeting with South Korean Prime Minister, Lee Tae-Woo, Washington is thrown into chaos. The armed forces and national security are unable to handle the situation and quickly they have a bloodbath on their hands. Rushing into the situation is Banning, knowing that he could do something to really help. Here, Butler comes across as extremely brave but his character is stupid at the same time. The White House is overrun by Korean terrorists, shooting the hell out of anyone who gets in their way, and Banning just runs in through the front door. However, Butler is good as the action hero, with his quick and witty lines along with shooting a gun really well.

Not only does this film have a great leading actor in Butler but there is also a fantastic supporting cast as well. Morgan Freeman plays Speaker Allan Trumbull who, as always, excels in supporting roles. He has an air of arrogance about him but also a care for what is happening and he shows he wants to do the best thing, even if others don’t agree with him. Next up is villain Kang, played by Rick Yune. Yune plays evil exceptionally well, as is seen in roles from Ninja Assassin and The Fast and the Furious. However, here he plays a terrorist mastermind who has the intention of bringing the U.S to its knees. I truly believed that this man was capable of some incredibly awful things and he had menacing writing all over his face throughout his performance.

While the film has a fantastic cast, with even more great names than I have mentioned, the plot is even better. At a time when North Korea is in the news a fair bit, this film is quite controversial and I was a little shocked at the subject matter. However, Olympus Has Fallen makes it more than clear who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Kang and his gang have the President held as a hostage, along with some other White House personnel. He intends to torture them until he has 3 particular codes which will pretty much let him destroy America. At the same time, the U.S. defence are being wiped out and no one knows what to do. I was quite shocked for this film to show such a hard time for the U.S. forces and for the North Korean terrorists to have the upper hand in such a big way.

Olympus Has Fallen is a fantastic action film, with fights, explosions and shootings a plenty. There was never a dull moment in this film, whether it be Butler running around the White House trying to find the President, or Kang brushing up on his torture techniques. There are also plenty of scenes concentrating on the U.S. military and White House personnel attempting to figure out what to do, which was quite exciting in itself. I cannot express just how much I enjoyed this film. It has everything going for it and I did not move once in my seat while watching. Highly recommended. 

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