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Film ● Mini-Review: Olympus Has Fallen

Title: Olympus Has Fallen

Director(s): Antoine Fuqua

Screenwriter(s): Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt

Released: 2013

Runtime: 1h 59m

Olympus Has Fallen

● Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is a Secret Service agent. He is ex-miliary and has a good relationship with President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and his family. After saving the president but not the First Lady in a car accident, he is removed from the presidential detail. When the White House is taken over by North Korean special forces/terrorists led by Kang Yeon-sak (Rick Yune), Banning retakes the house.

● This is more like Die Hard Lite rather than a Taken clone but I include it because it features an older lead operating alone in a shoot ’em up. Taking down the White House is an interesting enough premise but the execution is ridiculous, as if there are no commonsensical protocols to deal with what is shown in the film.

Mike Banning (Gerard Butler)
Mike Banning (Gerard Butler)

● Accepting the premise, a shoot ’em up is what one gets. It lacks the innovation and suspense of Die Hard and 24 but there is no shortage of action, starting around the 20-minute mark. The pacing is a textbook application of the “fast-paced template”.

● There is a lot of CG given the impossibility of filming on location. Most of it is detectable as such but not so bad as to jar the viewer out of the experience. It’s edited well and is not a bad action fest. Considering the simplicity, the entire cast, particularly Butler and Yune, sells it pretty well with Butler delivering a few great lines.

Kang Yeon-sak (Rick Yune)
Kang Yeon-sak (Rick Yune)

This mini-review is part of the collection for Taken clones and derivatives.


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