‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 15th, 2014 at 12:54 am,

Gerard Butler Olympus Has Fallen Olympus Has Fallen Review

Even when Olympus Has Fallen comes up short, it’s still an immensely entertaining (and very brutal) lone gunman action film.

Director Antoine Fuqua’s latest film, Olympus Has Fallen follows former Secret Service operative Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) who is tasked with a sudden return to active duty – when a hostile force takes over the White House and lays ruin to Washington D.C. Abandoning his desk job at the treasury, Banning runs headlong into the fray, slipping inside the ravaged White House (codename: Olympus) before the terrorists cut-off outgoing communications.

Out-manned and out-gunned, Banning coordinates with Speaker, and acting President, Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) along with Secret Service head (Angela Bassett) – quietly moving through the war-torn White House on a mission to free President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) as well as discover the terrorist group’s true motivations.

In Olympus Has Fallen, Fuqua (King Arthur, Brooklyn’s Finest) attempts to marry his taste for gritty character drama with a one-man-army action storyline. In general, the pairing is successful – balancing enjoyable interactions and downright brutal action for an unrelenting storyline that moves quickly from setup to payoff. Most of the characters are one-note political cliches (for example: a tough-as-nails general played by Robert Forster), making room for the core terrorist narrative to take center stage – as one obstacle after another is placed in front of Banning. As a result, Olympus Has Fallen could underwhelm moviegoers expecting one of Fuqua’s riveting character dramas (Training Day) but should provide action fans (and flag-waving patriots) with plenty of wit, explosions, and machismo.

Morgan Freeman Aaron Eckhart Olympus Has Fallen Olympus Has Fallen Review

Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart in ‘Olympus Has Fallen’

The White House/Washington D.C. setting definitely adds to the film’s intrigue. That said, with knowledge of the real-world locale and painstaking D.C. security measures, discerning moviegoers will find problems with plausibility in certain plot-points – since the movie pushes the boundaries of suspension of disbelief while at the same time relying heavily on familiar twists that viewers will see telegraphed ahead of time. Regardless, each setpiece is worthwhile, even when they’re not especially fresh or unique, and the most far-fetched elements still succeed in delivering entertaining return on investment - setting high stakes or providing Banning with an opportunity to spout a one-liner and flex his ex-U.S. Army Ranger skill set.

Thanks to a no-nonsense performance from Gerard Butler, Banning is the main draw for the film. After an explosive assault on Washington D.C. and the White House, the scale of the film tightens significantly – leaving behind extensive CGI pandemonium in favor of brutal fisticuffs in dark corners. There’s not much to the Banning character, his motivations are plain (he’s wracked with guilt from a past failure) but the attitude that he presents when talking to his contacts at the Pentagon or while tormenting terrorist operatives provides plenty of memorable encounters (and even laughs).

Olympus Has Fallen follows the one-man-army film pedigree to the letter (a resourceful hero facing-off against a well-armed villain) and while Banning doesn’t reach the time-tested marks of certain terrorist fighting do-gooders, he serves up plenty of explosive gunplay and bone-crunching fights to present a worthwhile action experience. Instead of filling one role in a multi-faceted rescue mission, Banning’s actions carry legitimate weight - every encounter is tense and the unfolding events make him believable as a solo killing force.

Olympus Has Fallen White House Olympus Has Fallen Review

The White House under attack in ‘Olympus Has Fallen’

Most of the high-octane work is left to Banning (and the masked terrorists he dispatches) but an A-list batch of supporting players ground the personal drama. As mentioned, some of the characters (and their performers) riff heavily on established political and military figures that audiences will have seen in similar fare, including Angela Bassett as sympathetic but tough head of the Secret Service or Dylan McDermott as fellow-ex Secret Service operative Dave Forbes. These characters work in the context of the story but pale in comparison to far more interesting personalities like Eckhart’s altruistic President Asher or Melissa Leo’s unwavering Secretary of Defense, Ruth McMillan. Morgan Freeman revisits his Commander-in-Chief role from Deep Impact - as a similarly calm-under-dire circumstances Speaker of the House.

Given the stakes of the final story, along with a surprising amount of violence, Olympus Has Fallen would appear to take its subject matter very seriously but, at the same time, thin caricatures and a one-liner spouting protagonist put the film in a strange middle ground that may be off-putting to filmgoers who aren’t able to switch-off their brains.

Beyond suspension of disbelief, there’s one major plot point that is developed and teased, only to be swapped out at the last minute as an underwhelming and significantly less interesting red-herring – robbing one of the film’s most important characters of an opportunity to make good on promised drama. While Olympus Has Fallen does include some great character moments, the film is often at odds with Fuqua’s ambitions – resulting in an exciting action movie that mismanages several central story ideas and underserves central players.

Finley Jacobsen Gerard Butler Olympus Has Fallen Olympus Has Fallen Review

Finley Jacobsen and Gerard Butler in ‘Olympus Has Fallen’

Even when Olympus Has Fallen comes up short, it’s still an immensely entertaining (and very brutal) lone gunman action film. In several scenes, the movie checks all the necessary boxes and a provocative setup helps refashion familiar story beats through a fresh approach. Certain plot points and characters are underwhelming or muddled by a heavy reliance on explosions and knife work but Fuqua keeps a sharp pace, moving from one tense set piece to the next, rarely allowing viewers time to notice the film’s shortcomings.

Still, it’s clear that the director had ambitious intentions for Olympus Has Fallen: aiming for a clever character drama with biting political relevance and riveting action. While the film doesn’t quite deliver on every idea that it introduces, it excels in Fuqua’s principle goal – a captivating and uncompromising assault on the senses (where smart character moments are just an added bonus).

If you’re still on the fence about Olympus Has Fallen, check out the trailer below:


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Olympus Has Fallen runs 120 minutes and is Rated R for strong violence and language throughout. Now playing in theaters.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comment section below. For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check out our Olympus Has Fallen episode of the SR Underground podcast.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future reviews, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5

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  1. Saw the movie last Sunday, sneak preview, and it was awsome, better than Die Hard I, def worth seeing.

    • NOTHING is better than Die Hard 1! You BLASPHEME!!!

      • @Andy

        I agree, well, not that nothing is better than Die Hard 1, but that this movie wasn’t. It was entertaining, but as much as it copied from Die Hard, it definitely wasn’t better than it…

        • Was not better than Die Hard. This wasn’t bad but Die Hard is the gold standard when it comes to one man vs. the world.

  2. It’s funny how similar themed movies come out at the same time… isn’t White House Down almost the same movie?

    Deep Impact/Armageddon, Red Planet/Mission to Mars etc etc

    And another one later this year… Oblivion and After Earth.

    • Yeah, especially interesting given that they are probably holding off on showing the ‘White House Down’ trailer until after this one has been in theaters for a bit.

      This is the End and The End of the World is another set of similar films – both arriving a full year after the 2012 “apocalypse.”

    • Yeah, I think that happens when a script makes the rounds around the studios. Some reject the pitch but develop a similar movie with different (cheaper?) writers, and the original script/pitch is picked up as well. There are quite a few more cases like that:

      Dante’s Peak/Volcano
      The Prestige/The Illusionist
      Antz/A Bug’s Life
      Truman Show/EdTV
      Deep Space 9/Babylon 5
      Deep Star Six/Leviathan (and technically The Abyss as well, but that’s a whole different league)

      • The prestige and illusionist are completely diffrent films. The illusionist is very much a romance

        • It’s like the script written in the mid-late 90s about computer hackers taking down US infrastructure and studios passed on it for years until someone was looking to make a new Die Hard and pulled that script out of the dusty archives.

          I’m sure the Die Hard producers thought of the idea for cyber terrorists to be thwarted and were told of a similar script from almost a decade earlier and tweaked both ideas.

          Not exactly a “hey, they’re the same movie!” comparison but I thought it was relevant to the conversation.

        • Yet they are both about magicians/illusionists in the 19th Century. Two movies about a very, very specific topic being released in the same year. That’s one hell of a conincidence.

      • Apparently, we were already working on a feature about this very thing. Just posted it this AM: http://screenrant.com/movies-copycats-same-plot-idea-twin-films/

      • Don’t forget the Original Star Trek tv series and Lost in Space! Roddenberry was shopping his scifi around, and nobody thought it was economically feasible to do scifi like that. He explained that instead of the expensive outer space shots and weekly spaceship sequences, actors would simply appear on the planet. The transporter is born out of economicly prohibitive tv budgets. He further explained how a minimal amount of studio space might be redessed with paper mâché rocks and colored skies to replicate planets, and a few space shots reused or mirrored rather than varying meaningfully week to week, to effectively eliminate all the space elements that make space tv expensive. They turned him down at one studio…and immediately began work on a remarkably similar looking spaceless space show with paper rocks, Lost in Space. Very different shows, but with eerie similarities in design and economy.

      • Excellent observation and yet you can’t (legally) copyright an “idea”; you have to be “entrepreneurial” when shopping a screenplay on spec, register that sucker with Writer’s Guild, and hope for the best.

        • Thanks for the reply. The details of copywriting are unknown to me, but the limits are often pretty messy and strange from my outsider view. The idea that a composer can argue similarities in other works are infringements when it is partly a matter of subjective opinion, and that Trump can claim rights to the words “you’re fired” leaves me confused to say the least. I don’t think that Ray Parker’s Ghostbusters theme sounds much like Huey Lewis singing “I want a new drug”, but the lawsuit was a success. On the other hand George Lucas sued Battlestar Galactica for ripping him off, and that seemed even more absurd. The fact that a rule couldn’t solve these issues and human opinion was needed makes it all the worse to nail down the nuances.

    • When it rains it pours.

  3. Caught a sneak peek on base last weekend. It’s a solid action flick. Great opening set, with a solid middle and tidy ending. I enjoyed it much more than the Die Hards. The best part was that the US military wasn’t reduced to Keystone Cops (see the military’s treatment in the recent Battleship).

    • I found Battleship (BS) to be offensive as hell for the military, and I’m not even connected to the military. On the other hand I honestly found it an embarrassment for Americans, film goers and even board game enthusiasts. Sure some of the late fx and paper thin attempts at story were vaguely entertaining, but the mentality of the implied audience who is supposed to watch John Carter there go B&E for a burrito, to impress a woman who appears to have nothing but looks and entitled contempt for him… It’s literally such poor thinking and warped values that I believe it has made the world a little dumber. Any kid who loves that movie should not have been allowed to watch it, and is going to be a drain on society unless he or she wishes up. I haven’t gotten such depressing chills from a movie in a while. How many foreigners saw that movie, or the first ten minutes, and walked out hating the US, I wonder?

      Anyways, Royal, it sounds like you are a military person. Not to presume that you had any one particular motive to join up, since I have no idea, but I really appreciate your service to world and country. Maybe you are English, since they are bigger on Royalty after all, but our interests tend to overlap. My sincere thanks to you, sir! Hope you stay healthy! (I’ll take your movie advice, too.)

  4. I loved it! Exactly what I want when I go to the movies, an explosive good time! Action packed from beginning to end & didn’t shy away from brutality or gore.

  5. I enjoyed it. Lots of action, tense building towards a climax and great use of CGI. Am looking forward to it’s release on DVD, as I’ll definitely add it to my collection.

  6. Just got done watching this movie and I have to say its the best one Ive seen in a long time for action movies. definitely going to get it when it comes out

  7. I saw this last week in a screening. It was good, very entertaining, but it left some pretty big unanswered questions, I honestly don’t think the similarities with the first Die Hard are coincidental, I mean, it’s too perfectly exact. One guy in a building taken over by terrorists. Main good guy and one of the hostages are close. Main good guy contacts authorities, some of them want to listen to him, the others think they can’t trust him or do not believe they should listen. Those who don’t want to listen do something against good guy’s advice. Bad things happen because of that. Good guy meets a bad guy who pretends to be a good guy, they converse, then the bad guy accidentally reveals himself. Good guy keeps in contact with the main bad guy in order to antagonize him. And there were probably more, but those come to mind now…

    • OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN is declaration to the enduring influence of the 25-year-old DIE HARD: if not for DH there would be no OHF. How many old-school flicks can make that claim? Damn few.

      • I can’t recall if it was IMMEDIATELY after the first DieHard or a few years later, but it wasn’t long before everywhere you looked there were movies that were obviously derivative takes on the same formula. Terms like “Die Hard on a boat/in a police precinct/with vampires/in a scifi setting/from the Smurf’s perspective/etc” became an annual (at least) tradition of questionable innovation and dubious returns. It was rarely spoken as anything but an insult to the movies originality and relevance. You might here them say “it’s diehard on a prison ship in the future…but the story is fun and the action is solid.”. However the resemblance is not usually considered a good or impressive aspect of the films in question. Yes you can say that this is a compliment to DH, and it’s enduring charm, but I think that it is mostly just an insult to uninspired remakes and dull variations on a simple theme. I can’t think of anther good example off the top of my head, but there are many I’m sure, and it’s a little odd how often we think back on DH. There must be an earlier example of similar story, but it’s not as modern.

        Am I the only one who thinks Sean Connery was Homer’s Odysseus in The Rock? Cuz he totally was! (Sorta). (I wouldn’t have worked out the connections so aggressively if I wasn’t trying to refute my prof’s thesis that for all the modern,rage-filled Achilles characters out there, nobody had updated the Odyssey or its star.).

  8. This is more like Die Hard compare to Die Hard V

  9. Sounds like this could easily have been a 3.5 instead of a 3.

    • Or a 2.5…

      Problem for me is that this make makes America (I’m Canadian FYI) seem like they have the single dumbest government and secret service ever conceived. The first 30 min were so, so incomprehensible, and it doesn’t get watchable until Butler starts doing his thing.

      • Yes Yes! My thoughts exactly!!

      • @Rob

        While I enjoyed the movie just for the action, I have to agree that there were more plot holes in this movie than I’ve seen in a movie in quite a while, and yes, it does make the SS seem like they lack training. I kind of understand if they get killed by the Spectre or whatever, but the second those guys started storming the lawn and it seemed like nobody in the bad guy’s group was getting killed other than who Banning was shooting while every cop, security guard, and SS agent was just getting killed, it was pretty unbelievable. And going into the White House you would think the SS would know the layout better than these insurgents but it seemed like they didn’t have any advantage in there either. How it looked like this terrorist organization was infinitely better trained than the Secret Service was just a little bit past ridiculous…

        And while I actually do think we have one of the dumbest governments, that’s not in the sense of defense in the way it was dumb in this movie, lol.

        And while it’s not necessarily a bad thing to take inspiration from the first Die Hard, one of the best action movies of our time, I kind of thought this movie mimmicked it just a little too much…

        I mean, add to this if you could think of more, but from memory here is what we have:
        1. Both movies a terrorist group take over a building, so the movie takes place within that one building.
        2. Both movies it’s up to one man inside that building to save the day.
        3. Both movies the single protagonist has an ally on the outside that believes in him and trusts him. In Die Hard it was the cop, and in Olympus Has Fallen (OHF) it was Angela Bassett’s character.
        4. Both movies there is an outside struggle between the protagonist’s ally and a government official who doesn’t trust him and doesn’t want to listen to his advice.
        5. Both movies the government official(s) who do not believe in the protagonist decide to send in a helicopter (or helicopters in the case of OHF) while the protagonist warns them against it.
        6. Both movies the government officials proceed with the helicopter plan despite the protagonists advice and bad things happen.
        7. Both movies the protagonist does kind of prevents a further tragedy in the failed helicopter idea. (In OHF he finally disables the AA gun so the one last helicopter could escape, in Die Hard McClane scares all of the hostages off the rooftop and prevents them from being blown up.)
        8. Both movies the protagonist acquires a communication device to communicate directly with the main bad guy and uses it to antagonize him.
        9. Both movies the protagonist meets one of the main bad guys without knowing for sure at first if this person is a bad guy.
        10. Both movies this bad guy he meets does or says something stupid to reveal his true motives.

        I don’t know, a few similarities or some shared themes is one thing, but when it seems like it’s going through the checklist of the other movie’s script, that’s another…

        • Allegedly, imitation is a form of flattery, emulation is “homage”, and duplication is a lack imagination. So, OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN is which of these? Six years before the release of DIE HARD (1988) there was FIRST BLOOD (1982); one year before FIRST BLOOD there was RUCKUS (1981). Each film about a one-man army. Coincidental or otherwise? Perhaps the devil is in the details but, really, we can go on with this forever.

          • @Frederick

            Ok, I am not understanding why so many people here is relating this to Die Hard simply because it’s one man versus a lot of men. There are tons of those movies. To me, the one defining thing about Die Hard, which ironically is the one thing Olympus Has Fallen does not copy, is that he’s a reluctant hero. I listed the things that are similar between the two, and a one-man army is actually not one of them. The closest is the protagonist being the only person inside the building. But the point is less that it’s one person versus the world and more to do with the isolation and setting…

            • Rambo in FIRST BLOOD had isolated himself; he did not seek to be a one-man army but something that came to him (in the woods) as incidental to his circumstance — like John McClane.

              Likewise with RUCKUS, where small town bullies sought to harass the protagonist, an outsider who didn’t come looking for a fight — just wrong place, wrong time. McClane, again.

              To your point: the Secret Service agent in OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN responded like a faithful bureaucrat; he pursued the invaders without reluctance (unlike McClane, who had hope for police intervention).

              People will always make comparisons to DIE HARD, not due to the premise but the windup: one man beating the odds. That’s the thing which will never have these movies (and AIR FORCE ONE after them) never lose their appeal.

              In this context WHITE HOUSE DOWN, if it proves a better film, could do much to hurt OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN in DVD sales; or should WHITE HOUSE DOWN be a far less enjoyable film will do a lot to help OLYMPUS in the DVD after-market.

              • @Frederick

                In First Blood he doesn’t exactly kill everyone… It wasn’t the same at all. He can’t really be considered a reluctant hero because he didn’t really accomplish anything except keep himself alive and save himself… In Die Hard, what made him the reluctant hero is not that he tried to get away and kept himself out of harm’s way, but he had to put himself into harm’s way in order to save the hostages and kill the bad guys.

                But yes, you and I definitely agree that Olympus Has Fallen actually doesn’t use that one defining characteristic because he’s completely willing to be there and be the hero…

  10. One dimentional characters,painfully cliched,unoriginal script.Not to mention Gerard Buttlers ball tighteningly awfull fake accent,BUT! all that aside,my inner ten year old loved the sh*t out of this movie.Turn of your brain and get on the bus,its worth the ride.

    • I think you might have written the script.

    • You know, back in the day, Roger Ebert gave the original DIE HARD only 2 stars and a less than enthusiastic review. I’m sure he’s changed his mind over time.

      • It would be just like him and Siskel to have loved the second one for amazing effects, new thrills, great twists and nonstop intensity…despite the fact that the second one is 80s weakness from top to bottom, and nearly unwatchable now. They loved things sometimes that aged terribly. I went back and saw all the Mad Max movies because they were so well rated, and I think Siskel said they just keep getting better every time. Wow those are some awful movies. After the intriguing premise they have essentially nothing to offer but the worst time wasting cliches and stumbling blocks of their era. DH has aged pretty well, partly because it was toned down, focused and gritty compared to other flashier films with the stars and budget to fail spectacularly. I bet Memento will hold up for several decades at least for the same reasons. It’s one reason the original Star Wars will age better than the prequels or even ROTJ.

  11. This would never happen in real life.

    Terroist :We have taken President and The White House prisoner.

    US Government : It is ok. We have a 25th Amendment. He will be missed.

    • There is a precedent for OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN’s central calamity: In the War of 1812 the British burned the White House. As fate would have it, an unnamed hurricane did come along and put out the fire. Ironically, that “hurricane” in the movie is a Brit. Could do that “LOL” thing right here…but I won’t.

      • @Frederick

        If you’re talking about Gerard Butler, he’s Scottish I think… Don’t let him hear you calling him a Brit… ;-)

      • I am from Glasgow, dont call us brits.

        • I hear you, brother. But last I heard, Scotland is still part of the British commonwealth…so I made a point not to call Butler “Englishman”. Of course, I could be digging a deeper hole here, so I’ll put the shovel away.

          • @Frederick

            Yah, but that’s like calling a Puerto Rican an American… :-P

            • @Ken J

              Our population under the American flag seems ambiguous, at best.

              Native-Americans produced a motion picture; the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences classified the film as “foreign”.

              I live in Washington DC but like other residents in the District, I have no vote in the Congress, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. Are DC residents fully “Americans”?

              But, like I said, I put that shovel away.

  12. White House…Seat of the United States.

    Operated…By the US Forest Service.

  13. North Korean terrorists attacking White House? I don’t believe that unless
    the terrorist are trained Psy Gangnam style cover dancer or the winner of the K-POP cover dance title. Bring Psy Gangnam style North Korean version into White House and let us have K-POP party. That’s good way for the popcorn entertainment nor this film is utter political propaganda.

    • Given NORAD’s bungling during the 9/11 attack (Hell, the secret service breaking protocol with JFK’s assassination) a North Korean assault on the White House gains enough subliminal credibility for a popcorn movie. Of course there are a number of other real-life examples, but let’s leave this with some dignity.

  14. From the beginning of the movie (the president and his SS chief on boxing training) it was an adrenaline rush. Movie goers like that. Also it was 2 hrs…cool.
    but there are 2 things I don’t understand in the movie: how come it took so long for Army and special forces to respond back? How come a B-52 has been in the hands of the bad guys so easily? Well…it was just a movie, critics will say.
    Gerard Butler is along with The Rock our next Action hero movie stars, since Arnie and Stallone are getting old. Congrats to Antoine Fuqua!

  15. This was so much like Die Hard I wish I stayed home and watched die hard.
    This had lines that were almost exact except they took out the humor that die hard had. I don’t get how people say this was better than die hard when it’s the same….Well maybe not at least John McClane saved the hostages and not just a guy and his son.

    1. If The united states pulled out wouldn’t the allies just take our place? Morgan Freeman called them up and the news said they were getting ready. It didn’t matter if the US pulled out.

    2.Why didn’t they contact the bunkers to deactivate the bombs? Or even transport them out of the bunkers? They had the time to do it.

    3. How did Gerard Butler contact the asian dude by just looking at a security camera? the cameras were shut down and Gerard Butler didnt turn them back on. The North Koren hacker was terrible, why were the geeksquad in Die Hard 4 better than her? they were nerds and The Mac Kid.

    4.If Gerard Butler was let go because “He reminds me of my dead wife” then why keep pictures of your wife the night she died? Did they not have any other badly photoshoped pictures?

    5.Why didn’t the terrorists take money from the us government to fund their country? This is so much like die hard they mind as well made it about the money too.

    6.If they threaten to know about the wife why not take her hostage?

    7. How did kang plan to escape from DC if the nukes went off? It’s DC i’m sure the nukes would of killed him too.

    If the podcast doesnt tear this movie apart I will be highly surprised. You guys tore apart skyfall this shouldnt be any different.

    • I hate defending movies that I really don’t like, but these points are… pointless.

      1. The troops in S. Korea are not under NATO, they are US. If we pull out, there is no one to step in.
      2. The system was designed as a fail safe. As stupid as it is, disarming the self destruct charges in all of our ICMBs is not a one day job.
      3. He reactivated the security cams in the SS control room. That is where he was when he contacted him.
      4. He was let go because the President did not want to be reminded of the night his wife died. Butler would be a constant trigger back to that night. Without him, the President could remember the happier times.
      5. Kang did not want money. He wanted a unified Korea under Northern rule and wanted the US to be decimated.
      6. The terrorists had their people inside the White House. They did not have agents all over the place set to take hostages.
      7. There are no nukes in DC. There would have been plenty of time to get out before the fallout hit the city.

      That said, the movie was terrible:
      Boxing with the President is one thing. Doing it without head gear and allowing head shots is beyond belief.
      A bomber with Gatling guns takes out two jets and defeats missiles with flares? The jets would have knocked that thing out of the sky. Stingers on the roof would have finished the job by locking on the target optically and not by heat.
      I love how the strafing run is oh so precise.
      Does anyone in the Secret Service know how to fire from behind cover?
      Is there nothing heavier than an M-16 in the SS arsenal? I think they might have an M-60 or two. The Marine guard might be trained in their use.
      Two words: body armor.
      Even if the SS allowed the S Korean politician in the bunker, his aides would not be in there.

      And all that is from before the movie became overly silly. I mean, come on, did the Washington Monument’s collapse have to look like the Twin Towers? Really? Did anyone in the movie theater forget 9/11?

  16. Spoiler Alert!

    Today I watched “Olympus Has Fallen” in *extreme digital cinema* at my neighborhood theater in Aurora, Colorado (the theater where the “Batman” shooting occurred last July). Bravo to the theater for not sanitizing the renovated space by showing only G-rated films. And kudos to everyone involved with “Olympus Has Fallen” for making a taut film that uses familiar themes in interesting ways. Also it was nice to see a multiracial cast, with women cast in unusual roles. (The U.S. has never had a Black Speaker of the House, female director of the Secret Service, or female Secretary of Defense.) Without reservation, I give “Olympus Has Fallen” 5 out of 5.

  17. I like action movies, Die Hard movies are fun, but this one took the bloodshed way too far. After 30 minutes of carnage – innocents being gunned down, bodies blowing up, and one person after another having their brains blown out – it was time to leave. Maybe I’m more sensitive after incidents like Newtown, but I just don’t understand how people find that entertaining. That amount of gratuitous killing and blood was unnecessary.

    • I think that amount of gratuitous killing and blood was the whole point. Since your handle is CathyH, I assume you’re a woman. Well, that explains it- this is obviously a guy’s movie. Guys like gratuitous violence.

      I’m sure there’s a romantic comedy showing somewhere close to you that will be more to your taste.

    • @CathyH

      It’s worth pointing out that OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN may not be presenting gratuitous violence as a public service…but it does simulate what women in combat might be facing in the future. As an ex-Marine, trust me –this is only a movie. It gets worse when it gets real.

  18. Oh, one thing to add, I hated that Aaron Eckhart didn’t have his “badass” moment. He should have killed one of the final terrorists…

  19. This movie looks great. I must say, however, that it appears to be stolen (er, or the inspiration came from Flynn’s novel) directly from one of the great author Vince Flynn’s “Mitch Rapp” novels. This appears to be the same story in all but name, with White House Down following on it’s heels as well. I also understand Flynn is not happy about it, but he is trying to be the bigger man and march on with his head up. Good job, Flynn. Still, no disrespect to Flynn, who I like immensely, at all, but I am sure I will watching both Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, and enjoy both.

    • Clint Eastwood in 1987 was upset about the similarities between FATAL ATTRACTION and his 1971 film, PLAY MISTY FOR ME. Sometimes for those involved it’s a coincidence or an homage or a ripoff. If it’s actionable or fair use, no reason for anyone to not show publicly a bit of class in responding to the infringement. Stuff happends.

  20. This was a great action movie.The assault on the White House was worth the price of admission alone.Did it have some weak spores?Of course.What movie other than The Godfather doesn’t. I,however, was was very entertained and that’s the bottom line.

  21. Worst movie I’ve seen this year. The airplane scene at the beginning completely abolished my suspension of disbelief. Throughout the entire rest of the movie, I couldn’t help but think that the U.S. government would not be this colossally stupid. I briefly enjoyed the movie when I forgot about the airplane during the “Gerard-Butler-In-The-White-House-At-Night” scenes, which they subsequently ruined with the Six Helicopter Screw-Up and the Cerberus Codes.

    • @Eric

      Yah, you would think the system will be smart enough to know not to explode the missiles if they have not been launched… Not to mention, blowing up nuclear warheads with conventional explosives will not set off a nuclear explosion, even from within the silo. You’ll just get a “dirty bomb” effect, but even that would be contained within the silos. So really, the whole plan wouldn’t have done anything but destroy our missiles…

      A lot of it made it seem like we are completely incompetent…

      I mean, really, machine guns are blasting the front of the White House so the best thing for the SS agents to do is pour out the front door and stand there to be shot?? Best thing for them to do at that point since they’ve already breached the perimeter gates is to bottleneck them. Let THEM go through the front door while you shoot them from behind cover… Don’t bottleneck yourselves… Geez… :-D

      • @Ken J – That was my only real gripe with the movie. It was based on the premise that it takes 15 minutes for soldiers to arrive at the White House but truthfully, once that plane opened fire on civilians then the military would have already been dispatched AND they would have sent more than one jet to intercept it. Plus, DC has its own police (obviously) and they would have opened fired on the invaders from behind as well causing a crossfire. Of course, the movie requires to you to suspend disbelief (and common sense) for 2 hours. I’d want to know how they were able to even penetrate American airspace with a modified C130 without anyone taking notice.

        Oddly enough, I still enjoyed the film.


        • Without arguing the competency of governmental policing of Washington DC (and no mention of NORAD’s failure during 9/11), popular commercial films are myths, requiring suspension of disbelief. It’s what makes them movies and not documentaries; this is reason docs don’t do as well as fiction — with the ironic exception of FAHRENHEIT 9/11 which had to do with…you guessed it.

          NOTE: If the passengers of United 93 had not intercepted the terrorists seated at the controls in the pilot seat…and if that jetliner had turned around, its target was the White House. The PASSENGERS…who sacrificed their lives, not a jetfighter intercept.

          Sometimes “the truth” has no imagination.

          • @Frederick

            Do yourself a favor and don’t believe anything Michael Moore tells you. He is an attention wh0re… Just to give you a little insight on the validity of that mockumentary, one of his very first “experts” on that movie claimed he was on some CIA/FBI anti-terrorism taskforce prior to 9/11, and blah blah they knew it was coming, blah blah conspiracy theory stuff… Well, kind of funny, because prior to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, the sharing of information regarding terrorism between the FBI and CIA was impossible and actually against SOP. Making a cross-agency taskforce as described in that movie impossible…

            Think about that for a minute, and rethink whether you should go around quoting things you “learned” from that movie. I’m not trying to be mean or start an argument, really just wanted to give you some food for thought before you make a fool of yourself to everyone…

            • @Ken J

              Plese read my remarks regarding Michael Moore’s film–again. Those comment merely indicate how that particular documentary is the only one to generate the sort of box office a commercial blockbuster enjoys–and nothing at all about the film’s content.

              I’m not in the habit of making a fool of myself, being foolish–or suffering that particular species. I’d never be so foolish as to take what Michael Moore has to say as gospel. (When Moore stood mute on the extradiction of pedophile Roman Polansky out of misguided deference for his benefactor, Harvey Weinstein, I lost all respect for him and he lost all credibility with me.)

              Any opinion I have of the attack itself on 9/11 is due to my own research, occupation and experience; I was in the Watergate office building and watched the smoke from the Pentagon being wafted over the Potomac while viewing the chaos in New York City on TV. I was visited later by the FBI and followed the ensuing events with caution. Anything more I am restrained from commenting on.

              However, I will say this: Michael Moore played no role in this scenario.

              • @Frederick

                Again, no offense intended, just wanted to give you the heads up IN CASE you actually believed in that mockumentary. The only one of his films I find some believable truths in and that I feel he might have made with good intentions instead of just trying to get attention was Roger and Me. Pretty much everything after that was all him being the attention wh0re that he is…

        • @Paul

          There was a perfect twist they could have put in the movie that could have explained all of that, but oddly, it never happened…

  22. Movie shootouts are inane. In the Marine Corps I was taught to shoot from cover, to drop my profile, and to camouflage my position. (You become the wall.) In just about every movie (Where is the Technical Adviser?) the shooters are standing in the open like cannon fodder who can’t wait to go to hell.

    If the forward command collapses, you “advance to the rear.” (Marines never “retreat”.) On the other hand, audiences like to see shooters in a gunfight drop dead; putting their dumb asses out in space with no cover is a sure way of giving the ticket-buyers what they want.

    Sorry, Technical Adviser. Forgot it’s a movie.

  23. Ken J
    Oh, one thing to add, I hated that Aaron Eckhart didn’t have his “badass” moment. He should have killed one of the final terrorists…


    Barack “drone” Obama would have killed one of the terrorists…and not just one.

    • @Freserick

      LOL, oh please, Obama would have tried to quickly pen a law to get the terrorists to leave the White House…

      • If the president’s daughters and the first lady were at risk, as we might suspect in such an attack as presented in OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN…well, just think AIR FORCE ONE.

        You don’t know what you’ll do when put under pressure; a threat to your loved ones is a hell of a tester. Obama wouldn’t pen a law under those circumstances; he would recind any law against high-capacity automatic weapons.

        • @Frederick

          NOBODY will sit and pen a law under those circumstances, obviously I was trying to be humorous, lol. Just poking fun at the fact that he seems to believe that people intent on doing bad things will somehow be deterred by laws… So was just stretching that concept a little to the extreme for the sake of levity. :-P

          Don’t be too serious man. Especially not on an internet forum/blog/comment thread. ;-)

          • That part about being “serious” on this thread is almost unavoidable, since I make short films with ambition (…ambition to make a feature-length movie some day soon).

            When you’ve been serious bitten by that “vampire”, you think filmmaking is your “mistress” (to quote Orson Welles) but what she really is…is a vampire.

            For a creative artist, “serious” becomes a way of life, second-nature but mostly (and always) an opportunity to “rant”.

            Indulge me. Thanks.

  24. One of the most violent movies I’ve ever seen. Hundreds of people being sprayed with automatic weapons, people being shot in the head at close range, people being stabbed in the head and neck, a women being kicked repeatedly in the head and stomach. I mostly like psychological thrillers and only went to see this because I like many of the stars of the film. This film however was over the top violent and gruesome, and I wouldn’t recommend that anyone see this film.

  25. Sick representation of the tower collapse, bet the CGI guys felt sick when they had to do that one, #lame.

  26. All I could think was that Boehner would have been calling the shots in real life and that in itself is a frightening thought. Great movie! I love Morgan Freeman no matter what movie he is in and lately that is quite a few. Making N Korea the bad guys was somewhat propaganda to rev up USA, USA, USA…

  27. Obvious shortcomings….but, I don’t care. Great movie!!!!!!

  28. Good movie!

  29. Got around to watching this today.
    It was better than I was expecting, and alot more violent too.
    Gerard Butler was great as always.
    I quite enjoyed it.