Mr. Movie: 'Olympus Has Fallen' falls flat

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comMarch 22, 2013 

Gerard Butler is secret service agent Mike Banning, who one time let the president's wife die in order to save the president. Reassigned, Banning now pushes paper at the U.S. Treasury. When the White House is attacked by a North Korean terrorist and his associates, he somehow gets past the terrorists and inside. Once there, he single-handedly rescues the commander-in-chief.

The push to make Butler an A-list star continues to fail. He doesn't have the acting chops or the personality to make it work. But the failure of Olympus Has Fallen is not his fault. Nor is it the fault of the excellent supporting cast that includes Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo and Aaron Eckhart.

It's the writing and the directing. Olympus Has Fallen is done by Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and is written by two first-time writers. Fuqua is a skilled director, and his action sequences work very well. The plot suffers from cliche characters and stilted dialogue.

These movies rarely work anyway. Those that do are packed with humor. Most of the laughs here are unintentional. Things like terrorists with machine guns mowing down secret service personnel as they come out the front door of the White House, yet they keep coming out sheeplike. It will have you howling.

A couple of weeks ago, North Korea's young dictator threatened to attack the United States with nuclear missiles. None have fallen. Perhaps he had a change of mind and decided to get even with the U.S. in another way.

Maybe it's Olympus Has Fallen. A movie this bad has to be sweet revenge.

Olympus has Fallen

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Cole Hauser, Dylan McDermott
Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars
Rated R for violence, gore and language. It is playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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