Olympus Has Fallen refers to the secret service code for the event that the White House falls into enemy hands, however ‘The 300 Re-Bourne’ would probably have been a more suitable title for this action packed film, stuffed full of blood, gore, and excessive patriotism.
The premise of the film, a full-scale invasion of the White House by a band of militant North Korean thugs was promising, albeit unlikely, improbable, and almost definitely impossible. The timing of its release could not have been better with North Korea once again manages to antagonise the entire world. Even the casting of Morgan Freeman as the U.S. President (one of the few saving graces of the film) seems to fit the bill of the current political climate. All of this could have made this a great film. If you’re interested in the possible political implications – however farfetched they may have been – you’d be better off staying at home, or better still, removing your brain before viewing. The invaders turn out to not even be affiliated with the North Korean regime, and it really seems like the producers were afraid of hurting Kim Jong Un’s feelings.
Nevertheless, this film is about Gerard Butler kicking butt, and this he does in large and stylish quantities. Butler plays the somewhat depressed and sentimental ex-secret service man Mike Banning, who finds himself relegated to a desk job in the U.S. Treasury after being held responsible for the extremely emotional opening scene. Coincidentally, but fortunately for the citizens of the Free World, he is situated in close proximity to the White House giving him the perfect opportunity to re-establish himself as the President’s most trusted bodyguard. Perhaps most importantly though, it’s a chance for him to kill a bunch of baddies, whilst simultaneously re-affirming just how brilliant the U.S. is. After a somewhat overly dramatic scene of the Stars and Stripes falling from White House in excruciating slow-motion, he does just this.
All of this is not to say the film isn’t worth watching. If you’re looking for a jingoistic blood bath filled with some horrific racial stereotyping, with a dressing of Morgan Freeman thrown in for good measure, then please, please don’t miss the opportunity to experience this masterpiece.