Monday, 15 April 2013

Olympus Has Fallen

Sunday morning isn't my favourite time to go to the cinema but when ShowFilmFirst are offering free tickets to see Gerard Butler it would be rather rude to refuse, wouldn't it?

When the White House is attacked by Korean terrorists, the only person left alive to save the President (Aaron Eckhart) is Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), former presidential guard now reduced to a desk job. While President Asher and his staff are held hostage in an impenetrable bunker beneath the now-ruinous White House, Banning must find the president's son before he too can be captured and used as leverage to make his father give in to the terrorists' demands, oh, and then shoot and punch his way to the bunker and save the President and the world. This is the main failing of the film - that it's so obvious all along that Gerard Butler will save the day. I know that this is the role of the all action hero but it would have been a better, more re-watchable, film if occasionally it had appeared that Butler might not pull it off.
It's all jolly fun in an action-packed, explosive way. The terrorists are appropriately ruthless, prepared to kill without hesitation just to make a point and rather topical being intent on influencing American naval and military deployment in Korea. Butler gets to flex his muscles and show off his unarmed defence moves - though at times I did wonder why he didn't just pull a gun and shoot the bad guys instead of insisting on battering them to death. There aren't as many laughs and one liners as in Die Hard - mainly because Banning kills first and asks questions later! - which is something I missed and there were moments when the action slowed and my attention drifted.
All in all though a good couple of hours worth of entertainment and definitely worth giving up my lazy Sunday morning for - I'm just not sure it's one I'd watch over and over again.

4/5 stars

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