Olympus Has Fallen
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Opens March 22
Every few years, Hollywood rolls out an Action Movie that tries to maim, kill, or otherwise harm The President of The United States of America. Sometimes it's space aliens (Independence Day) who blew the White House all to hell and President Bill Pullman had to bug out, and there was that Air Force One flick with Harrison Ford as POTUS, where he got attacked on his Presidential plane and The Man himself became the Action Hero, and now director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Brooklyn's Finest) shoves a brutal Presidential-actioner up America's movie ass, with everything left in and nothing left out.
The White House is called "Olympus" by the Secret Service guys such as our ass-kicking hero who kicks major ass Gerard Butler (from 300, that piece of crap Bounty Hunter movie with Jennifer Aniston, and Coriolanus), starring as Government employee Mike Banning, who is not Secret Service guy Mike Banning anymore, because: backstory. His friend and erstwhile boss is Academy Award-nominated Angela Bassett (What's Love Got to Do with It, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and that piece of comic-book Green Lantern movie), so that's not too shabby, and while Ms. Bassett doesn't really have much to do in this movie, she does SPOILER ALERT, which is really important and pretty funny, wait for it. There are a lot of funny little moments in this ultra-violent film, in the disbelief-suspended context of watching an action flick, where there's shooting and stabbing (and stabbing in the head, owowow) and punching and kicking and hitting and torturing (bad guys and good guys, because we do that now, in case you hadn't noticed) and this might just be the year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decides to give out an Outstanding Achievement in Getting the Living Shit Kicked Out of You award to Academy Award winner Melissa Leo, who plays sort of the Hillary Clinton part. Good Lord, seriously, be advised, hard to watch, spoiler alert, whatever.
Anyway, after about a half-hour of setup, you're watching a well-armed bunch of North Koreans (the New-New Hollywood Bad Guys), led by the also Very Bad-as in Real Good, at being Bad-Kang (Rick Yune from Die Another Day, the James Bond movie with Halle Berry), hit the White House with military precision and fuck shit up in a disturbingly realistic fashion, assault-weaponing holes in Secret Service dudes, cops, and innocent civilian bystanders. And it's fun. Seriously, this is a fun movie for this kind of movie, where there's lots of shooting and killing and being mean to people and stuff, starring so many guns, all kinds of guns, big ones, little ones, rifles, pistols, automatic, giant remote-controlled ones, everything, everybody got guns. The spurts of violence are so dense it almost seems like a parody of an action movie, especially with some of the symbolic symbolism. So you start appreciating it as such, and it gets more ridiculous, especially with Kang and his pro-wrestling-style Finishing Move, but you get caught up in these waves of mayhem, so this is solid disposable entertainment with a slightly puzzling but not bitter aftertaste. This picture will be a staple on TNT or TBS or whatever cable channel always has this type of action movies on back-to-back on a Sunday afternoon.