February 6, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 38°F


Review: Combat choreography stands out in action flick

Director Antoine Fuqua brings battle and bravery to the White House with his action flick “Olympus Has Fallen.” With a strong script and star-studded cast, the film crafts an enjoyable cinematic adventure.

The fate of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue depends on ex-presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). The film opens with the death of the President’s wife after a fatal car accident. When he is unable to rescue her, Banning is left with a heavy weight of regret and failure. A year and a half later, the president (Aaron Eckhart) invites South Korean diplomats for a friendly visit, which quickly turns into a terrorist invasion led by North Korean deranged mastermind Kang (Rick Yune).

The severity of the international threat in the film is spot-on and echoes current diplomatic issues. The clever script, written by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, builds the foundation of a suspenseful story. Not only does the script propel the film, but it creates a real hero in Butler’s character, who is determined not to let the president and his country down again.

The story of Banning is compelling, as his character evokes sympathy, and audiences are encouraged to cheer him on. Though he might have superhero-like fighting abilities, he fits the mold of an average human with a patriotic heart who fights to save his country. Yes, he can take out an entire command force of North Korean officials, but it is his motivation behind his bravery that makes the film’s emotional impact so cogent. The film is filled with stars such as Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo and Aaron Eckhart, but the greatest performance is Butler’s.

The film is packed with quick cuts that intensify every bit of action. With these fast-paced transitions, Fuqua creates two separate worlds inside and outside of the White House and expands the suspense as characters in both settings pray for the safety of the nation. The movie does not drag the action along, because the focus and real brilliance of the film relies on one man with one task to keep the country alive.

3.5 stars

Clever script and star-studded cast excel in suspense movie “Olympus Has Fallen.”