Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Olympus Has Fallen poster.jpgDie Hard DC

Disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) 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 (Aaron Eckhart) from his kidnappers.

Here is the first of 2013's attempts to show that Die Hard can be done when set in The White House, with Channing Tatum starrer White House Down coming in June. There have been many other times when two films released close to each other have similar plots, with the most notable being the Armageddon/Deep Impact face off in 1998.

From the start, attempts are made to get the viewers to care about the characters before the action comes in,  setting the opening at Christmas and showing the characters and how they interact with one another. This leads up to an early death for one notable character, who was undeveloped enough for the audience to not feel like they should care, but treated like the previous minutes were spent on getting the viewers to love them. All of the attempts manage to miss the mark, including Bannings struggle to adjust to his new job, and let's not even mention the tacked on friendship between Banning and the Presidents son. It's moments like these that give you the feeling you've seen this films (many) moments done better in other films.

The script is riddled with plot holes and problems, from the lack of one characters reason for turning traitor to the questioning of the villains plan to get what they want. A plan which could have easily ended with them killing their targets and failing their mission. A lot of characters seem to have a penchant for using knives, as opposed to guns.

The White House Annual Breakdancing
Competition begun at a bad time.

The cast manages to give good performances, including Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart, who both each convince in their roles as an action hero and a President. It's just a shame that, like the overall film, their character fail to make a lasting impression within your mind.

Antoine Fuqua tries to make up for a lack of development in many of his characters by showcasing their name and job in on-screen text, but at least he does a good job in directing the action scenes, choosing not to hold back and showcase the carnage of innocent people getting gunned down in the middle of the street.

Despite a number of good performances and some well-directed, unrelenting action scenes, Olympus Has Fallen falls due to its emotional moments that miss the mark, the plot holes and how derivative and forgettable it is.