March 23, 2013

JustSON at the Movies: Olympus Has Fallen


I'm all for the popcorn action flick that requires you to suspend reality to enjoy the movie, but when it completely disregards the intelligence of the audience, it's lost me. That, in a nutshell, is Olympus Has Fallen. The latest movie by Training Day's Antoine Fuqua is a violent, ham-fisted mess that uses every Die Hard cliche in the book and plays on America's xenophobic fears.

The North Koreans' ... fresh off taking over Spokane in "Red Dawn... assault on the White House is what should have been the centerpiece of this flick. I can believe the White House would get assaulted by a foreign nation - we're still stinging from 9/11 - but this movie sets its tone very early by assuming that American security is about as lax and incompetent as Mark Sanchez playing quarterback for the New York Jets.

In this post 9/11 era where I have to get a cavity search if somebody finds a ball-point pen in my pocket, seeing an unidentified plane fly over Washington DC and take out the Washington Monument ... it's not just unbelievable, it completely insulting. The plane finds a way to take out two F-22s who decided to responded a few blocks from the White House with ... Gatling guns (which apparently are more accurate than seeker missiles when taking out every secret service agent around the White House) ... and then the US just sends one more jet fighter after that. I guess they were making cutbacks in the Air Force in this movie's universe?

(In reality the plane would have shot down over Maryland)

When a busload of tourists turn out to be North Korean commandos stormed the White House, we get the "Air Force One" inspired shoot out where the secret service agents are forced to fight automatic-armed baddies. Unlike Air Force One where it was a plane where nobody should have had automatic weapons in the first place, the people guarding the White House have apparently never seen such armament and just keep storming out in the open and into a spray of bullets.

Gerald Butler does a serviceable job as the former secret service agent for the President (Who eventually gets captured in the White House's secret bunker because of an inside job) who comes back to save the day. Morgan Freeman is vintage Freeman as the Speaker of the House, while Commander-in-Chief Aaron Eckhart always radiates on screen no matter what he does. But it doesn't make up for a script that pays no attention to things like logic and making the least bit of sense.

Without spoiling too much we're supposed to believe that...
(1) The US would rather see North Korea invade South Korea and a Nuclear Holocaust than having their president die. I know it's cold-hearted but logically the US would not want to kill millions for the benefit of one. Simply put.

(2) Once the White House was taken, the Army wouldn't take it back. Suffering from the same problem that "The Dark Knight Rises" has, the US just wouldn't back away and let the terrorists have their way without a fight?

(3) It takes 15 minutes for any Army personnel to respond to something at the White House, even though its technically the most protected building on the planet? I joked during the movie that they must have stopped for Starbucks on the way to the White House.

(4) Pulling the Seventh Fleet and tens of thousands of US soldiers from Korea would take just a few minutes.

There's several other logical fallacies in this movie, that if explained or at least acknowledged by the filmmakers, it would have been much more enjoyable. We are left with, however, is the most powerful nation on Earth being portrayed as stupid and Gerald Butler being our only salvation.

Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

(Just buy Air Force One, it's way better.)

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