When a judgment call costs him his job as a personal security guard to the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart), Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is reassigned to a desk job in the Treasury Department. He wants his old job back, a second chance to show he has the right stuff. He gets another crack at it when North Korean terrorists invade Washington, overtake the White House, killing POTUS’s entire security team and kidnapping the Prez. As he only man left with a gun and knowledge of the White House’s security systems, he alone must protect the future of the free world!
“Olympus Has Fallen” is about as standard as action movies get. It’s so standard that the two most presidential of actors—Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman—both play the Commander in Chief. This movie has everything you expect, which, if you have low expectations—and you should—is guns, bombs and at least one character who comforts a mortally wounded man with the words, “C’mon! Hang in there!”
Imagine “Red Dawn” with fewer teenagers and a bigger body count.
And this movie is all about the body count. The first twenty minutes or so is spent on “character development,” an attempt to make stock characters—like the charming but fearless Secret Service agent—but it really begins with the audacious attack and the ensuing mayhem.
From then on it is all bash, boom, bang with a side of motive—evil North Korean mastermind Rick Yune wants to reignite the Korean civil was the U.S. interrupted—and the kind of patriotism that only ever shows up in movies like this (ie: Banning crushes a bad guy’s skull with a statue of Abraham Lincoln).
Director Antoine “Training Day” Fuqua embraces the 80s-style b-movieness of it all, liberally mixing melodrama with mano-a-mano old-school action. If you had a poster of Dolph Lundgren on your wall in 1984 or rent JCVD movies today you’ll find a kindred spirit in “Olympus Has Fallen.”