Certificate 15, 120 minutes

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman

In Olympus Has Fallen, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerald Butler) is working for the Presidential Protection Detail of the US Secret Service. The President, Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart, I, Frankenstein), and his family are travelling by road from the Presidential Retreat at Camp David in the snow when an accident causes the Presidential limousine, known as "The Beast" - a heavily armoured monster of a vehicle - to skid on a bridge and partly stick out over a river. Although Banning rescues the President, the First Lady (Ashley Judd) is still in the car when its weight takes it over the edge and it falls into a river, resulting in her death and that of the remaining occupants of the vehicle.

Olympus Has FallenCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Olympus_Has_Fallen_poster.jpg18 months later, the day after Independence Day, Banning no longer working for the Detail, having been removed by the President. He has now working out of the Treasury Building, something he isn't enjoying and which is causing some problems in his relationship with his wife Leah (Radha Mitchell, Silent Hill: Revelation). During a visit by the Prime Minister of South Korea, the White House comes under attack from a three pronged assault. A C-130 plane equipped with weapons first randomly shoots up parts of Washington in the area of the Washington Mall before attacking the White House. Terrorists, led by Kang (Rick Yune), the head of South Korean Prime Minister's security detail attack the White House's security from within and a third group of terrorists, mostly disguised as tourists, attack from outside. The attackers quickly gain control of the White House, taking several hostages including the President whilst leaving everybody else dead.

During the attack, which the North Koreans deny any responsibility for, Banning has managed to return to the White House whilst fighting off the attackers. With both the President and the Vice-President captured by Kang, the Speaker of the House, Trumbell (Morgan Freeman), becomes acting President.

The Secret Service and the other defenders in Olympus Has Fallen managed a less than impressive, and hopefully less than realistic, defence of the White House. Even against a well organised, well informed and well equipped (and, for some of their equipment, it was never explained how they came to get a hold of it) attacking force a better defensive effort would have been expected, especially as the attackers appeared to be smaller. The attacking force may have performed extremely well, but the defenders also reacted extremely poorly, and contributed to their failure by making mistakes.

This is pretty violent film with lots of death and bloodshed, which is often quite random - quite why the C-130 randomly attacked civilians before going after its primary target, rather than after it, was a not rationalised, unless it was simply so that we could see Banning's wife, a nurse, dealing with the aftermath of the attacks in her hospital - and topped up with lots of explosions and gunfire. Banning goes on a typical one man war against the surviving attackers in the White House with fairly predictable results. Olympus Has Fallen is not an entirely logical action film - but then, they rarely are - and is pretty much standard in how it turns out, but it's fast paced enough and well enough done that it's an enjoyable watch, and it was successful enough to get a sequel.

Olympus Has Fallen egdcltd 2013-07-04 3.5 0 5
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