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August 26, 2019

Olympus Has Fallen (2013) --- “We Are Never Stronger Than When We Are Tested.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     In the wake of a terrorist attack, a disgraced Secret Service agent and former Presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself trapped inside the White House. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and his staff are taken hostage in the Presidential Bunker, while his son Connor (Finley Jacobsen) is being hunted in hopes of being used as leverage against him. As our national security team scrambles to respond and with time running out, it's up to Banning to use his inside knowledge to locate Asher's son before the extremists do and rescue the president before his captors unleash their ultimate plan. Banning is the only one available but can he live up to the task and save the world? Or was it all doomed, to begin with?

     Directed by Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer 1 & 2) and written by Creighton Rothenberger (Angel Has Fallen) and Katrin Benedikt (Angel Has Fallen), Olympus Has Fallen (2013) is a high-energy action-packed drama that will provide nearly two hours of entertainment with its engaging plot and a significant level of suspense. The film is obviously too violent and too graphic for young audiences or the faint of heart. There were also some cliches here and there, primarily in its portrayal that the good and evil depicted here is based solely on nationalistic terms. However, I believe that this portrayal accurately proves how political bigotry can be dangerous. It's dangerous because it tends to be about the elevation of ideology, apparent materialism, and a callous disregard for human life. Nevertheless, Director Fuqua delivers an action-packed and thrilling film that reinforces the importance of individualism as a driving force in preserving and maintaining liberty which will keep audience members enamored until the end.
     The cast performances are solid. Gerard Butler (Angel Has Fallen) does a fantastic job as Mike Banning. He brings toughness, grit, and delivers some great lines for the role. Kind of like John McClane but without all the sardonic quips and half-hearted seriousness. Aaron Eckhart (Midway) delivers a strong performance as President Asher, someone who doesn’t negotiate with terrorists and is willing to undergo torture in order to protect that which he holds dear. Angela Bassett (9-1-1, Black Panther) is spot-on, Morgan Freeman (Angel Has Fallen) provides a polished performance, Melissa Leo (The Equalizer 2) delivers an impactful performance, and Rick Yune (Prison Break, Marco Polo) is perfectly menacing as the film’s villain. The rest of the cast - Radha Mitchell as Leah, Dylan McDermott as Forbes, Robert Forester as General Edward Clegg, Ashley Judd as Margaret Asher, and Finley Jacobsen as Connor - give fine performances as well.
     Overall, Olympus Has Fallen (2013) is an entertaining film that will keep audience members enamored until the very end. The story is violent, action-packed, suspenseful, and reinforces the importance of individualism as a driving force in preserving and maintaining liberty. The cast performances were solid, especially from Butler and Eckhart. This is a film that is not for young audience members nor is it for the faint of heart. I highly recommend that you check out this film and its sequel London Has Fallen (2016) before you see its third installment Angel Has Fallen (2019)

Final Vote --- 7.5 of 10 stars

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