There have been many films done about how the U. S. has been under attack on our own turf and we eventually see where we do not lose the battle. There are many variations of this story and even though it may be similar, I always find them engaging for the most part. Writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt have written a good script for Olympus Has Fallen and in a couple of scenes, I recall hardly being able to breathe.
Some viewers may not know that Olympus is the Secret Service Code for the White House, but it does not take much to figure that out after seeing a couple of the film’s trailers. I am very impressed by the actor’s performances, many of them top notch and talented for delivering the lines, however short they may be.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film is quite suspenseful, some scenes more than others and there is some very good cinematography that in some instances created sheer silence in the theater. One scene I recall is when our U. S. flag is bullet ridden, tossed off and slowly, ever so slowly flies toward the ground.
In the film, Presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) has been in charge, but after a tragedy with the First Lady (Ashley Judd), he is reassigned to a desk job, but maintains a view of the White House.
After the White House is compromised and terrorists kidnap the President (Aaron Eckhart) and is held hostage with others, including Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan (Melissa Leo), many people die along the way in horrible ways, thus is rated R. So many scenes are hard to watch as people are gunned down or blown up.
The former Presidential guard, Banning leaps to duty and applies the training he has regardless of how many bullets are being fired from truckloads of terrorists. He knows his way around the house, so to speak, enabling travel within the building to save the President and family (Finley Jacobsen), and to avert an even bigger crisis.
The film also stars Morgan Freeman as Speaker Trumbull, Angela Bassett as Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs, Rick Yune as Kang and Dylan McDermott as Forbes, a former Presidential guard who has gone to the private sector.
Even though a few viewers may anticipate a couple of the scenes, overall, I think the whole production merits paying the full theater bucks in the theater. It is a reminder of what exists in our world, as sad as it is and how hard it is to watch.