April 11, 2013
"Olympus Has Fallen" has been called by various critics as "Die Hard in the White House" because that is exactly what it is. The White House was attacked and taken over by a crazy North Korean terrorist Kang (Rick Yune) and his posse. The President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart) himself was held hostage with his closest staff. The entire presidential security in the palace had been ALL killed off.
Well, that is, except for one Mike Banning (Gerald Butler), who had been removed from the close-in security of the POTUS because of a lapse of judgment 18 months ago. As would be expected in a pseudo-"Die Hard" film like this, Banning single-handedly outwits and disposes off all the bad guys, averts a nuclear attack against the US in the nick of time, leading to the melodramatic uber-patriotic speech from the rescued President that we had anticipated from the start.
As an action film it was quite good. We just have to shut our brain off for two hours and not think. We do not get spared from violent fight scenes which were graphic and bloody, and that is good since we came into this film expecting an adrenaline rush, and indeed we will get that.
Let us just disregard certain unbelievable plot holes, such why Banning security access status was still active 18 months after he lost his job as Presidential Security, or how the terrorist was able to get the final secret code for the nuclear weapons without the POTUS giving it to them, among many other questions. You are not supposed to notice these things anymore.
The release of this film is as timely as could be since North Korea is currently positioning itself as an aggressor in the real world, declaring war on South Korea, and practically, the USA as well by extension. I am just wondering why the US would allow a movie showing their White House so weak in security or their President so weak in resolve. Do these really fire up patriotic fervor, or raise more questions about Washington would do in a crisis like this?