Tuesday 9 April 2013

Olympus Has Fallen Movie Review!!!

Olympus has fallen and Gerard Butler has risen from the ashes! This movie rocks!! Read on to find out why!

I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I saw the trailer a few months ago, surprisingly perhaps even more than I'm looking forward to the upcoming new Iron Man movie.  I guess I've been influenced enough by the US to believe that the White House is an impenetrable fortress.  That’s why the trailer just blew me away.  The whole premise that the White House could be attacked and taken over by terrorists is just so crazy that you can’t help but wonder if it could happen.  I was hooked and had to see this movie. 

The wait is finally over and Olympus hits the spot in much the same way a double quarter pounder does – a guilty pleasure. 

Before we get into the review, I need to start by saying that you can’t have a decent action movie unless the hero has a really cool tough guy name.  The movie just won’t work.  Here are some classic action hero names to highlight what I mean:

John Patrick Mason – Sean Connery’s name in The Rock.  The word mason just conjures images of metal welding and general badassery.

Kyle Reese, very cool name, sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor in The Terminator.

Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard.

Steven Seagal as Casey Ryback in Under Siege.

Jean-Claude Van Damme as Kurt Sloane in Kickboxer, Walker in Timecop, Jack Quinn in Double Team, Luc Deveraux in Universal Soldier or Chance in Hard Target ‘cause his mamma took one.

Finally the most ridiculous action names belong to Schwarzenegger.  John Matrix in Commando or as Dutch in Predator.

There’s no denying those are some cool names, almost as cool as Bobby Stryker.

So our hero in Olympus is Mike Banning played by Gerard Butler.  Cool action name, so they got that right, works for me ‘cause he quite literally ‘bannishes’ a lot of guys straight to hell in this.

We are introduced to Banning both as the President’s head of security and also as his friend.  The dynamic between Banning and the presidential family immediately draws you into the characters, which makes what happens all the more impactful, despite being only a few minutes into the movie.

Time passes and we find Banning as a shadow of his former self.  Removed from the President’s security detail, he continues to work nearby at the treasury but yearns to be back in the secret service.

Meanwhile, the President (Aaron Eckhart) is meeting with the Prime Minister of South Korea at the White House to discuss their future plans and efforts to keep North Korea’s advances at bay.  This turns out to be a Trojan horse allowing North Korean terrorists to infiltrate the White House.

What follows is one the most intense scenes of the entire movie as the White House is attacked with brutal force and aggressively taken over.  Banning is able to get into the White House in amidst the chaos while pretty much all of the secret service is wiped out.  It’s pretty intense stuff and really lived up to my expectations.  Some have complained that the CGI was below par but for the most part I would say this is not the case.

The evil Kang (hilarious Simpson like bad guy name) played by Rick Yune holds the President hostage leaving House Speaker Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) calling the shots with the assistance of Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs (Angela Bassett). 

What follows is a stealth action extravaganza as Banning tries to take out all the bad guys, save the President and the entire United States of America single handedly.  It’s great fun.  It could have very easily become boring but manages to safely avoid that trap.  It’s pace keeps the tension tight.  Despite being a supreme tough guy we still believe Banning and even the President can die.  The terrorists are ruthless but so is our hero.  They have lunatics who are willing to blow themselves up and die for their cause but Banning is equally devoted and we believe he would give his life to save the President.  Perhaps they have underestimated their adversary.

Director Antoine Fuqua has crafted a pretty great action movie here.  The action is hard, fast, brutal and bloody.  While comparisons to Die Hard are unavoidable, I would go out on a limb to say that right now I want to see another Mike Banning movie – not another Die Hard movie.  The premise may have been Die Hard-like but the action is vastly superior in Olympus, from the initial attack on the White House to all the action set pieces and hand to hand combat scenes.  Banning could kick McClane’s ass all over the place.  Combine this with strong performances from all the leads, a clever balance of humour and you have a winner on your hands.  I doubt the similarly themed White House Down, due out later this year starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, will be as good.

One of the rare instances where a movie actually lives up to and surpasses expectations, Olympus Has Fallen is a solid action movie well worth your hard earned dollar.

It’s great to see King Leonidas finally back on form – go check it out now!!

Rating 4.5 out of 5.

Bobby Stryker

My faux secret service pass from the movie promo website, pretty cool!


  1. Nice review Bobby. Granted, it is entertaining to watch, but there's stuff like fake-looking CGI and shaky cam in some parts that get in the way. Still, it can be a very, very fun ride.

    1. Hey, thanks for the message - means a lot coming from a pro! =P

      Yeah - it was a lot of fun, a good balance of everything I think, meant I could forgive the CGI scenes which were thankfully few and far between. As for the shaky cam, it never reached the earthquake magnitude of shakiness seen in the Bourne movies. Fuqua seemed to know fairly well when to pull the camera back and just let the action do the talking which was cool and necessary for a movie like this to succeed.

      Thanks again buddy. Hope you'll continue to support us =)