Sometimes you just want to go have some mindless fun at the movies. A group of co-workers decided a couple hours before to go check out the latest "patriotic disaster porn" movie by Antoine Fuqua, the director of Training Day. Olympus Has Fallen has a pretty ridiculous premise, as expressed in the rottentomatoes.com blurb:
When the White House (Secret Service Code: "Olympus") is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning's inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President and avert an even bigger crisis.However the film does have a stellar cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Rick Yune and Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo. Butler stars as the heroic ex-Secret Service Mike Banning who tries to save the President (Eckhart), his young son and the Secretary of Defense (Leo). Basset plays the female head of the Secret Service (truth mimicking fiction!) who inexplicably is deeply involved in the decisions in the situation room at the Pentagon when the Speaker of the House (played by Freeman) becomes the acting President.
The movie chock-ful of action, and is incredibly violent. There are many, many scenes of bullets entering human bodies as terrorists successfully execute a mission which enables them to completely over-run the White House and kidnap the President of the United States in a jaw-dropping 13 minutes. This is quite an impressive and disheartening sequence. While watching how the terrorists outgun and overrun the brave men and women defending the White House as an American one is horrified at the visions of the desecration of "the nation's house."
Olympus Has Fallen is just the first (but not the last!) of the "disaster porn" movies to depict a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. that results in imminent danger to the president and the destruction of numerous national landmarks like the White House. The producers of disaster porn are exploiting the audience's strong feelings towards national symbols to enhance the emotional resonance and entertainment impact of the film.
Regardless of the excessive violence and the relentless emotional manipulation the movie is still an entertaining experience and good mindless fun.
Title: Olympus Has Fallen.
Director: Antoine Fuqua.
Running Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong language and violence throughout.
Release Date: March 22, 2013.
Viewing Date: March 26, 2013.
Overall Grade: B (3.0/4.0).