Posted by: greercn | April 23, 2013

Olympus Has Fallen

When you want old and familiar themes, it’s good to know that Morgan Freeman is available to say the usual lines. Here are the rules for action movies, as seen in “Olympus Has Fallen”:

1) If America is attacked by Koreans/Russians/Terrorists/Aliens, you MUST have Morgan Freeman available to be President of the USA.  Freeman MUST be on standby for this at all times. In a pinch, check the availability of Nelson Mandela.

2) Bruce Willis is the inside man who saves the free(ish) world. If Bruce is making Die Hard 98.6, send for Colin Farrell or Robert Downey, Junior. (Oh, we could only get Gerard Butler. Okay. He’s pretty hot right now. Will he wear a white vest? No? Pity…)

3) Lovers of classic Greek mythology, look away now. There is nothing to see. “Olympus” is the White House, the American President’s house. No Zeus here. Sorry.

4) Invaders are usually invited in through the front door. Memo to US Presidents: please check your guest lists more carefully).

5) The hero, Mike Banning (Hi, Gerard) MUST be deeply traumatised by an event in his past. He must sneer at the idea of therapy. He should have a beautiful and long-suffering wife, who sighs a lot.

6) It is perfectly okay to waste the considerable talents of Radha Mitchell, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd and Angela Bassett, so long as you pay them enough.

7) Ditto Aaron Eckhart. (Can he grimace and look on in mute rage through the icky bits? Terrific!)

8) No writers are to be harmed or indeed taxed with working too hard during the making of this film.

9) Antoine Fuqua’s directing expertise is to be used on big explosions, slow deaths, guns and computers. He made enough films with real plots. “Olympus” will toy with plot, then forget about it.

10) You MUST have a really cute President’s kid. At least one of his parents should have died horribly. Finley Jacobsen? Cute as many buttons.

11) Bad guys have planned to take over the White House very carefully. Having done so, they will walk around by themselves, or in twos so that Gerard can pick them off easily.

12) At least one helicopter must be blown up. Two is better.

13) Although Gerard is in the White House, his advice to the outside “experts” is to be ignored, resulting in many deaths.

14) Casual stereotyping of Our Enemies is perfectly acceptable.  Rick Yune and Dylan McDermott know what we expect of them.

15) How much CGI is needed to blow up a whole lot of iconic buildings? Great. We will have extra dollops of that.

And yet, I absolutely adored the two hours I spent watching this movie and so did everyone else at the Stratford East Picturehouse. Yes, it’s the old and familiar formula. But it’s done so very well! And it’s nice to park your brain at the entrance to the cinema and pick it up again on the way out. This is mindless good fun and beautifully put together. When it comes on TV, I will watch it again and again.

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Responses

  1. Basically as dumb as you can get, but a whole bunch of fun if that’s what you like. I liked it, but I will admit that I had to leave my brain at the front-door. Good review.

    • Thank you! I am almost ashamed of how much I enjoyed it!


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