I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, but Olympus Has Fallen can easily be described as the best Die Hard movie of the year, if it was only a Die Hard movie. It has all the right ingredients that the true Die Hard movie, A Good Day to Die Hard lacked, like tons of hardcoreviolence, swearing, an exciting and action packed plot and a lead character that kicked a ton of ass. The movie only has one or two small problems, which I’ll get to shortly, but first, let’s get a few things out of the way…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: Disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers.
Gerald Butler plays Mike Banning, foul mouthed, kick ass secret service agent to the President. After a tragic event, Banning moves from protecting the President, to a desk job at the Treasury. On what looks to be a normal day, the White House comes under attack and Banning manages to get into the White House and kick all kinds of ass, while looking so damn cool and suave.
That’s the quick gist of the story, without giving away too much information. The plot basically boils down to the Die Hard formula, where you take an everyday man, stuck in an impossible situation; a one man army, who is tasked with taking down all the bad guys. This formula works wonders in Olympus Has Fallen, as Gerald Butler does an outstanding job as the hard assed, at times funny, action hero. He doesn’t take shit from anyone and says it like it is. I’m not into men, but I would still make sweet love to him, sweet sweet love. (Well, I’d take him and Daniel Craig as Bond, James Bond. What a night that would be.)
Gerald Butler isn’t the only person leading this action packed movie. We also have Aaron Eckhart as the President, a stand up guy, who’s love for his country and fellow man is very strong. Filling in for the President, when he or the Vice President is unavailable, is Morgan Freeman as Speaker Trumbull. Mr. Freeman doesn’t have a large role in the movie, but is nevertheless important and does a great job and never once looks like he is phoning in his performance.
As I said in my first paragraph, Olympus Has Fallen does have a few problems. First, is the sometimes bad CGI. There are times where it will look pretty damn awful and other times where it’s somewhat passable. Overall, the CGI causes more of a distraction than anything and makes me wish this movie came out in the 80s, when practical effects was all the rage and we didn’t have to deal with this crappy CGI stuff. Lastly, the only other problem is the length of the movie. It runs a total of 120 minutes and I feel some chopping could’ve been done to speed up the story a little better. We have stretches of no ass kicking and it can kinda be a drag. I’m not saying a little story development is a bad thing, but when it requires putting our hero into the background for a bit, I’m against it. I just want to see some more ass kicking. What can I say, I’m shallow.
You know what, even with those small little quibbles I had above, Olympus Has Fallen is a fantastic action movie and it’s what the new Die Hard should’ve been. It’s exciting, violent, fantastical, sometimes horrific and for the most part fun. Gerald Butler steals the show and shoots his way to the top of the everyday hero mantel. Recommended big time!