Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Review - Olympus has Fallen

"Olympus has Fallen" - a story about a disgraced former presidential guard "Mike Banning" (Gerard Butler) putting himself into a very dangerous situation inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge and perpetual skill, Banning works with the national security team to try and rescue the President (Aaron Eckhart) from his kidnappers.

Hello Film Fans,and welcome to the first Dr.Film film review.

This is the first in a series of film reviews, that I will be doing of films that I have seen over the years.

I'm starting off with an epic action thriller "Olympus has Fallen".

Released in American Theaters on Friday the 22nd March 2013 and Released in UK Cinemas on Wednesday the 17th April 2013.

SPOILER ALERT! This review is going to be filled with spoilers, so if you haven't seen "Olympus has Fallen" and you want to see it without things being spoiled for you then I would strongly advise you not to read this blog; however if your one of those people who don't mind spoilers or have seen the film then carry on reading, and hopefully this review will be useful to you should you go on to watch the film; and I highly recommend that those who haven't seen the film do because "Olympus has Fallen" is a fantastic action thriller.

"Olympus has Fallen" is in my opinion a quintessential action film, it is right down your throat with : punch ups, people getting shot at, people getting their necks broken, bloody violence and true grit.

Olympus is 1 hour and 40 minutes; (100 minutes) which isn't too long for a heavy action thriller; In comparison to something like 'The Dark Knight' which was 152 minutes.

So I'm pleased that Olympus didn't drag out. I always find when doing an action thriller, it can stretch out and get boring, in the case of Olympus it didn't so I'm pleased it was just under 2 hours.

I'll be honest; I wasn't expecting much from it.

From what I had seen off the Internet, and all the publicity stuff like : posters and trailers I thought that was going to be an okay film, but it interested me enough to go and see it. but actually it proved to be a lot more than just 'okay' I thought it was fantastic.

I thought that 'Gerard Butler' was amazing, those of you may know 'Gerard Butler' as a familiar face from films such as 'Law abiding citizen' and 'The Ugly Truth' here he plays a presidential protector (a bodyguard) to Aaron Eckhart's President Asher.

He is relieved from duty and when the white house gets invaded he takes it upon himself to investigate.

Put himself in harms way and See's himself as the only person who can sort out the problems.

At the start of the film when we first see him, we get who is straight away, doesn't need much considerate thought as to who he is and what his role is in the film.

The Film started off quite slowly for me which was fine, because there had be a fine line of good acting and identification with several characters before the real action could start later on, so your introduced to a lovely Christmas setting and there is snowfall and it's a windy night, and the president, his wife and son are getting ready to go out for a Christmas gathering.

However with a weather conditions such as a windy, snowy sort of night and this being an action thriller you can't help but not expect something bad to be waiting around the corner, and that something bad was about to happen.

Let this be a coincidence but an accident does happen on a bridge; luckily Gerard Butler manages to save the President but not his injured wife so sadly she dies; and the president is devastated that this has happened and is in a lot of upset.

And you can sense the guilt in Gerard Butler's eyes to communicate to the viewer of the disappointment his character's feeling at this point in the film.

18 months later on since the accident Gerard Butler is re-introduced still feeling guilty over what happened, still feeling disappointed.

It is in this point of the film that we the viewer get to meet his wife, girlfriend or partner (wasn't clear in the film what the relationship was) Leah who is a nurse at a hospital. her role in the film is to be the person who is annoyed that her partner isn't spending any time with her and to do her job and to worry a lot.

Having said that I thought Mike and Leah's relationship was portrayed really well and we got the back story we needed from it.

Next we get to know what President Asher has been up to since the accident; we learn he is doing everything that he can with his son, trying to spend time for him but tackling his job at the same time.

He is working with his committee to form an alliance with the North Karean delegates to avoid a nuclear war, however this is interrupted by a giant plane, flying over the white house and destroying the settlement.

I thought the whole sequence with the plane, worked really well.

There was some great close ups, and angle shots to convey identification as to what was happening; the plane itself was brilliantly effective as it flew over the white house and designated areas.

I was very pleased with the giant plane.

The President, his committee and the north karean delegates are then forced to retreat to a bunker underground where the whole thing is revealed to be a trap, set up by terrorist ring leader 'Kang' played by "Rick Yune" who I'd never seen in a film before; this was the first time I saw him play a role.

And with every action thriller you have to have a big villain. and Rick was that and more; you got the impression from his clothes he is swerve and sophisticated but actually underneath all that is a dangerous man and he is planning something horrible.

Meanwhile Gerard Butler has infiltrated himself into the white house without being detected, he kills anyone who gets in his way;which is predictable action thriller behavior so one could expect no less.

In the absence of President Asher the national security team (NST) call upon Speaker Trumbull played by 'Morgan Freeman' to come in and act as acting president.

I don't think Morgan Freeman did enough as he could of done in this film, which was a bit of a shame because I think that Morgan Freeman is a great actor.

Although having said that Trumbell is a very good character.

He understands the seriousness and the pressure he's under and he knows that he's got to be on the ball in every decision he makes; and I got all of this from when he makes the humours action to order a coffee in a real coffee cup before returning to the situation in hand.

 Inside the white house, Mike manages to communicate with the NST; and talks to them as a sort of inside man.

From this moment on in the film; it's treated like an intense, unpleasant version of 'Where's Wally', Wally of course being the Presidents son Connor.

Kang is trying to gain access codes to nuclear war heads from the presidents committee by using brute force and violence, but he knows he needs the threat of killing Connor in order for the president to give him his code.

Luckily Mike finds Connor and gets him out of the white house safely, by that time Kangs plans upgrade as he proceeds to gain access to the nuclear warheads; because he plans to obliterate America by detonating the warheads.

The white house then becomes under attack, and destroyed, and the danger of Kang's plans really do start to come real, when he gains access to the nuclear warheads.

But the mums and dads always say to their children 'no matter how bad things are now, all will be well in the end' which is true, poetic and predictable as it sounds, it's true. things do sort themselves out with a big climatic fight scene between Mike and Kang, where one kills the other, and the nuclear warheads get deactivated.

It is at this point coming up to end of the film where you get the after effects of what has happened. It's shown off very powerfully and it plays an image in the mind of the viewer, as what would this have been like if it was real which is great.

Rounding things up as a whole, if you love a heavy action movie and loads of violence and explosions then 'yes' I would say this film is for you.

I'm going to give 1 gold star to 'Gerard Butler' obviously
2 Silver stars to 'Aaron Eckhart' and to 'Rick Yune'
and 1 Bronze star to 'Morgan Freeman'

Overall I give "Olympus has Fallen" 7/10 and I look forward to watching it again when the DVD comes out later in the summer.

Thank you for reading this review, I hope you found it useful.

My next review will be 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and that will be posted on Saturday the 27th of April 2013.

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