There’s a Reason I Never Voted for You.
I took myself a little break, but when it came time to come back, I wasn’t entirely sure if my break was self-imposed or not. I could not find anything in the theaters that interested me! Whatever was I to do?! But then I remembered an old friend that I don’t think I’ve spent any time with recently. An old friend by the name of RedBox. And there were a couple of movies to be found there that I wanted to see. Not movies I wanted to see expecting quality, but movies I wanted to see expecting quality reviews to come out of them. And by that I mean I expect them to suck. But we’ll just have to wait a paragraph to find out after I tell you a little bit about Olympus Has Fallen, written by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, directed by Antoine Fuqua, and starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Rick Yune, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Dylan McDermott, Finley Jacobsen, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, and Ashley Judd.
Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is the head of the Presidential Detail. While transporting President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), First Lady Margaret Asher (Ashley Judd), and their son Connor Asher (Finley Jacobsen) to Camp David, a tree branch lands on the windshield, sending the President’s limo off the road. Banning is only able to save the President and his son. The most ungrateful POTUS in history then demotes Banning to the Department of the Treasury. This turns out to be a great idea when a group of North Korean terrorists – led by Kang Yeonsak (Rick Yune) – take control of the White House in order to use something called the Cerberus system to leave the United States defenseless from nuclear attacks. But little do these Korean terrorists know that we’re still covered by America’s first line of defense: Gerard Butler.
I would give this movie credit for being better than I expected it to be. My expectations were admittedly low, but it was better than them. It’s just your fairly standard action movie. I feel like I’d probably prefer White House Down since it seems almost identical without taking itself too seriously as this movie does. This movie tries to do the same thing in a more heavy and emotional way that never really worked for me. It started with the death of the First Lady. I didn’t really care. We hadn’t really spent enough time to get emotionally attached to her. Plus I felt the whole situation was a little stupid, especially when the helicopters arrived right afterwards and I could just imagine everyone saying, “Oh man, that’s right! We have helicopters! We could’ve completely avoided this bad driving conditions and come through this situation with at least one more living First Lady! Boy is my face red.” And then you demote Banning because he only managed to keep you and your son alive but wasn’t quite able to go above and beyond the call of duty to save your wife too? That’s some bullshit! He’s clearly the best guy you have, as evidenced by how easily the Koreans waltzed into the White House. It seemed like the movie was sending a message to Korea that, if they send enough men and garbage trucks, and if Gerard Butler is busy at the time, then they can take the White House down without too much effort. Well, if he wasn’t available, then maybe we could settle for Maverick and Goose, ‘cause they never would’ve been taken down by that giant plane with the side-mounted Gatling guns. They would’ve been flying upside down above that airplane taunting the enemy pilots and completely safe from side-mounted Gatling guns. And who was aiming those things anyway? Ah, never mind…
I also didn’t get the whole situation with Kang. I guess I get his motivation and all, but how the government people not know who he is when they see his face when he’s the most wanted terrorist in the world? They say that he’s never been photographed, but his picture pops up with his name pretty quickly for that to be true. Well his plan seemed pretty solid though, at least up until the end. ::SPOILER ALERT:: I thought his ruse with putting black hoods on everyone was fairly effective for not getting his people killed since they wouldn’t know which one was the President. It would be effective for everyone but the girl in the crew, I suppose. The sniper could probably feel pretty safe shooting the one person in the group with tits. The problem I had with it was that I didn’t see the point of the ruse in the first place, beyond clearing out the rest of the unnecessary people before the climax. Why bother killing off all your men to make everyone think the President was dead when you’d be activating the Cerberus system 2 minutes later, thus proving that both you and the President were still alive. ::END SPOILERS::
One thing that I could say with confidence about this movie is that the cast did a great job. Gerard Butler has made some shitty choices for movies in the past, but he can still bring it with the performances. He’s a very believable badass, and that was the bulk of what was required of him here. I did find it amusing that America was almost destroyed because Banning doesn’t use Twitter and doesn’t know what a hash tag is, or perhaps because the other douchebag decided to use “hash tag” instead of the more commonly understood “pound sign.” I also took issue with the President of this movie, and not just because he demoted the man who saved his life. …asshole… I also took issue with the fact that he kept telling his cabinet members to give up their codes to save their lives. I understand it would make the President look like an asshole if he let them die, but that’s about 5 people who might die as opposed to the millions that will die if they give up those codes. Let them die bravely to protect the country and do the same yourself. ‘MERICA!! Also, Morgan Freeman is the man. He should not only be the President in every movie, but he should be the President in real life too.
Olympus Has Fallen was roughly what I expected it to be: decent. It didn’t impress, but it entertained. And I guess that impressed me because it was more than I expected. The story was a little over-simple, but the action was pretty good and the performances were better than I would’ve expected. This movie doesn’t qualify with me as a purchase, but it’s decent enough for a rental. Olympus Has Fallen gets “Newsflash asshole – I don’t work for you” out of “Why don’t you and I play a game of fuck off. You go first.”
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