Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Hardly A Review: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

In a rare turn of events i have a chance to actually write about a film before it is on general release here in the UK! I was lucky enough to win two tickets a preview showing last night of  "Olympus Has Fallen" which is due out on general release tomorrow, Wednesday 17th.

After having taken the US Box Office by storm (which is an apt saying considering were talking about a film where the white house is taken by terrorists) "Olympus Has Fallen" has arrived in the UK and i must say i really enjoyed it and feel it is well worth a watch.

It follows Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) a disgraced FBI agent who becomes the only living person in the White House after it is taken by terrorists during a meeting between the leader of South Korea and the US President to discuss the threat North Korea poses. After a terrifyingly efficient and mercilessness take over of the White House in 13 minutes, involving a C130 Plane, Mounted Machine guns and Ground forces,the terrorists have the president and most of his high level staff prisoner in the presidential bunker.Banning has to proceed to make his way through the White House and be the "Eyes and Ears" of the acting president, speaker of the house played by the one and only Morgan Freeman. He is tasked with finding out who the terrorists are and trying to curtail their plans etc.

 Now i can imagine that your thinking so what this sounds very much much straight out of the formulaic school of action film production. A rehash of films like Die Hard it is not, there is not the constant pithy one liners that makes Die Hard great and terrible. Don't get me wrong there is humor and some great delivery of dialogue in places in the film. The reasons for me that "Olympus Has Fallen" is a step above generic shoot and blow 'em ups are that i felt there was a greater depth to the characters or at least the main ones any way, peripheral roles tend to be under fleshed out and occasionally bordering on the unnecessary due to their detached nature, for example Banning's wife.

The nature and manner of the terrorist attach also helps to give the film a level of believability and therefore allows for greater immersion in the film by the audience. By this i mean they don't roll up to the white house etc with tanks etc and take it that way, it is very clever and extremely well thought out combination of speed and precision, having people both with in the grounds and within the White House itself. This film plays on the fear that most of us have over Terrorism, but none quite so as the Americans  who since 9/11 have thought or worked against little else. The film exploits this with the taking of the most protected building and person in the world, this is coupled with the US's fear of plane based terrorism and is taken a step further by having the use of a weaponised plane and the untold damage it causes to property and life in the film.

The film is added a certain edge by the plot piece of the meeting between the US and the South Korean leader over North Korea's posturing and saber rattling concerning war, with fiction reflecting reality it gives the film a spooky feel of what could be under different circumstances. All in all i enjoyed the film and felt it had a greater depth to it and was step up from some of the more vacuous blow everything up action films being turned out currently. I recommend giving it a watch when it is released on Wednesday 17th.

Nosh, Signing Out. 

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