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    March 29, 2013

    MOVIE REVIEW: OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

    Based on my own calculating simulation, such big scale invasion on the world's most secured building in the world could cost this Korean paramilitary group an estimated $1 billion at least. I could be wrong in my simulation but my point is that all the technology and tactics we see in this movie are costly yet not practical. In fact, Olympus Has Fallen is nothing more than a big Antoine Fuqua's fantasy of what would happen when the White House is taken over by a sophisticated and superiorly equipped terrorist group. For that imagination, you just have to see it to disbelief some of the aspects in the movie. But there are also some aspects that are commendable to adore.



    Genre: Drama/Action/Adventure
    Classification: 18
    Release Date: 22 March 2013
    Running Time: 119 minutes
    Distributor: RainFilm Sdn Bhd (for Film District)
    Director: Antoine Fuquaer
    Screenplay: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
    Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Dylan McDermott, Melissa Leo, Rick Yune, Ashley Judd

    Plot: When the White House (Secret Service Code: "Olympus") is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning's inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President and avert an even bigger crisis. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) directs an all-star cast featuring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd and Rick Yune.
    Olympus Has Fallen premises the sequential events leading up to the take over of the world's most advanced and secured building in the world by a terrorist entity whose aims will remain critical to the stability and the creation of new world order. In the height of the Korean Penisular Crisis, President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) holds an emergency talk with his South Korean counterpart. But all hell goes loose when a coordinated terrorist attack strikes the White House and interrupts the talk. A disgraced former Presidential guard and a former Secret Service, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself trapped inside the White House after he learned that the president was kidnapped. Armed with skills and expertises, along with the order of Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) Banning operates  on his own. As plot deepens, a clearer picture on the attack is revealed.

    The movie goes for the impossible. Ditch the logic and you get another brainless action thriller, something like recent Die Hard movie shiwcased. For the casual movie-goers, this is indeed a comforting news as the plot is easily understood even when explosions and head shots count are incredibly high. For that, audiences will likely to be split due to the underwhelming  story and character-based feature, as well as an overwhelming pure and engaging actions. Fuqua combines the usual mix of character drama, substantial story based and violent actions, to the best balance possible. His previous films like King Arthur, Brooklyn's Finest and Training Day set the examples of his works. However, I would consider this movie to be weaker than the three.

    What surprises me, though, is the amount of violence in the movie seems to justify the R-rating, something that Die Hard 5 fails to deliver. The bloodshed, head shot and engaging fights are done with care. What's fascinating is that the set-pieces in the movie are done amazingly and are even more dynamic than Die Hard 5. Thus, the high octane actions embodied in thus movie definitely puts McClane to shame. The center of all the action is Butler himself who redeems and reverses some of his recent fading career.  Plus, the benefits of having a strong ensemble cast like Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Rick Yune and Angela Bassett would definitely a plus for the movie.

    Unfortunately, the movie has many flaws too. Some of the critcal key elements go too extreme that someone should start paying attention into the security features at the White House. With insanity rues, the misconception and factual errors are incredibly high, all in the name of kick-ass entertainment. Since I am not a military expert, it is difficult for me to tell you the actual situations, military tactics and tough decision if indeed this terrorist attack does happen. As I have observed, many of such that are portrayed, are becoming too implausible and ridiculous as time goes. And as I suspect, plenty of these will be inaccurate. My friend would love to point out what are the tacticals seems so flawed and so redundant, but I leave it to you to discover them.

    In the end, Olympus Has Fallen is neither great nor bad but the fact it does escape the latter is a relief. The mediocre written plot and premise are simple, action-packed and substantial, but are also cliched, ridiculous and suspended with disbelief. Ultimately, it delivers everything that Die Hard 5 should have.

    MY RATING:
    Story: 2.5
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 3.5
    Effects: 3.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 11.8/20.0


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