The President of the United States in 2013, unlike his Nineties Hollywood avatars, takes quite a beating. Remember Harrison Ford in Air Force One (1997) got rid of the snarky terrorist by firmly telling him to get off his plane? There was Morgan Freeman as leader of the free world facing up to killer asteroids with dignity and panache in Deep Impact (1998) and Bill Pullman who joined the fighter pilots to lead a counter attack against the aliens in Independence Day (1994). Of course, there was Jack Nicholson as crazy President Jimmy Dale in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks (1996), but then that was Burton and Jack.
Post-Recession and multi-trillion dollar debt, the Commander in Chief has to take several beatings and shootings and finally be rescued by a disgraced secret service agent. Olympus has Fallen is not without its guilty pleasures though. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) has crafted a fast-paced action movie with charismatic actors ensuring enough eye candy.
Gerard Butler plays Mike Banning, the demoted Secret Service agent, who takes apart a well-planned operation with nothing more than his wits and attitude. It is the kind of role Bruce Willis would’ve done in his sleep, with more wit, but never mind. There is Aaron Eckhart as the President, who looks like he is going to burst into a fit of giggles at the impossible plot. Morgan Freeman lends gravitas as acting president and also has one of the only funny lines in the movie.
These kind of testosterone-driven movies were the staple of the Eighties and Nineties and Fuqua keeps the millennial version lean, brutal and bloody. It is the perfect fix for the action movie junkie.
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
Storyline: The White House is taken and it is up to a secret service agent to save the world
Bottomline: Cheap thrills galore