Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Olympus Has Fallen - the review

If you had to use one word to sum up Olympus Has Fallen, the new movie with Gerard Butler, 'generic' would sum it up admirably.

As you may have heard this is Die Hard in the White House, one of two films we see this year on the same theme.

Butler is the best mate of US president Aaron Eckhart. We know this because they love boxing together at Camp David. Gerard is also best mates with the President's son and the First Lady. In fact they seem to be one big happy family.

So when a film starts with everyone getting on like a house on fire, you know it's only a matter of time before a house is actually on fire, in this case the White House.

The most famous building in America is compromised in a mere 13 minutes by Korean terrorists who stay one step ahead of the US defence forces, but don't count on Butler, who works in a nearby building and hasn't forgiven himself for the death of a key individual 18 months earlier.

So the generic bad guy is desperate to get his hands on the codes for Cerberus, a top secret mcguffin capable of wiping out most of America.

As the drama unfolds, every attempt by outside forces to stop the terrorists ends in bloodshed, but Butler and bullets get on about as well as oil and water. They just slide off him.

By the third act, Morgan Freeman, Robert Forster and Angela Bassett have spent most of the movie arguing with one another or Butler about how bad things are while hostages are shot on camera. The trio are like a rich bernaise poured over cheap meat loaf in the hope you think you are eating top steak.

The whole thing is excessively violent, the script excessively dull and a bit stupid while the special effects are just plain average.

There are also huge potholes, such as near the finale when Morgan and his colleagues are given a scant amount of information and yet assume the President is dead. At one point Morgan sits back in his chair looking utterly dejected. I know how he felt.

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