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.
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.
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(price as of Mar 29, 2016)