|A good day to die hard and kill half the population of North Korea when they take control of the White House|
Olympus Has Fallen (2013) **
Dir. Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Rick Yune, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Dylan McDermott, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd
Review By Greg Klymkiw
Olympus Has Fallen is - hands down - one of the stupidest movies made during the last decade and yet, in spite of its zero I.Q. the picture manages to deliver exactly what it promises; violence, American Propaganda, more violence, dreadful dialogue and even more violence (much of the aforementioned bone crunching and blood-letting handled decently).
Essentially, what we're served up is tale involving Secret Service Dude Gerard Butler. Having been busted down to a desk job after a mission goes horribly wrong, our hero finds himself conveniently located round the corner from the White House as North Korean terrorists mount an armed assault upon Washington, D.C.
Revenge and redemption are on the way.
Butler's best friend, President Aaron Eckhart and a few other high-on-the-totem-pole mucky-mucks are kidnapped by smarmy North Korean terrorist Rick Yune whilst his loyal hordes of faceless Koreans kill innocent bystanders and every single armed man in and around the White House. The Koreans are so vicious that they go to every dispatched American body and blow the brains out of the corpses - just to make sure. Worst of all it seems the nasty Korean pig wants to set off American nukes in a manner which will ensure consequences of the most dire kind.
Morgan Freeman and Angela Bassett fret in the Pentagon while Butler infiltrates the White House and for the lion's share of the picture's running time, brutally kills one faceless Korean after another. In one of the most hilariously vicious scenes in movie history, Butler bludgeons someone repeatedly with the bust of Abraham Lincoln.
Between acts of violence, Butler growls zingers at the terrorist like: "Why don't you and I play a game of Fuck Off. You first." He also has some choice lines lobbed at the bureaucrats in the Pentagon who balk at providing him Top Secret information, even though he's their only hope: "I have the proverbial need to fuckin' know!"
Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) is a mediocre talent, but here he sets up a few genuinely decent suspense and action sequences. I have to admit being on the edge of my seat more than a few times. There's a dark, grainy mise-en-scene to the picture I also enjoyed.
The large all-star cast acquits themselves as expected. Gerard Butler is a more than average actor who finally gets his groove as an action star. David Yune makes for a deliciously smarmy villain as does Dylan McDermott. The balance of the cast all put in familiar competent performances. The biggest disappointment is Ashley Judd - not because of anything she does, but because she's such a radiant, sexy and fine actress and she's wasted in a thankless role.
Is the movie propaganda? It sure is. For some reason, though, maybe because it doesn't purport to be truthful in order to distort like Ben Affleck's bonheaded Argo, I was able to enjoy it on its own moronic terms.
"Olympus Has Fallen" is currently in wide theatrical release via VVS Films.