Olympus Has Fallen is the story of a terrorist raid that takes over the White House and perpetrates incredible violence to all there-in, as well as to a lot of the Washington, D.C. area. While there are obvious establishing shots of our Capitol, the film was made mainly in Bossier, Louisiana. (What has this got to do with Battle Los Angeles (2012)? Aaron Eckhart played the tough Marine Sergeant, whose platoon fights off space aliens in downtown L.A; which was actually Bossier, Louisiana.) In OHF, AE has moved up from playing a tough Marine NCO to President of the United States.
The lead role is Gerard Butler playing a Secret Service agent and ex- commando who now has a desk job instead of his former position of guarding the POTUS. The reason for this is shown in the opening scene – which is the only appearance in the film of Ashley Judd as the First Lady. Enough said.
A group of misguided North Korean terrorists attack the Capitol. Big time. They shoot up the city, destroy the Washington Monument, kill everybody trying to shop downtown, blow up vehicles and take over the White House. This makes a lot of people very angry. The problem is what to do about it.
Morgan Freeman becomes acting POTUS since the President, VP, Secretary of Defense and other bigwigs have all been captured, tied up and made to read the entire Obama Health Care bill. They can stop reading if they give up certain important secret codes. Two of them throw in the towel about 1,000 pages in, and the terrorists are on the way to success. The President holds out since he appears to be a slow reader.
Meanwhile, GB fights back and winds up as the sole good guy in the White House. Gunshots, RPGs, etc. fly about causing great destruction. The clock is ticking. Can GB kill all the terrorists and save the POTUS before the bad guys get the codes? He does his best.
Watch for Melissa Leo as the Sec. of Defense. She is feisty and defiant in the face of incredible torture and abuse, but never gives up. GB is pretty good as the one man Army and AE is fine as the POTUS but better as the Sergeant in Battle L.A. The CGI and action sequences are all pretty incredible. Much of the film, especially early on, is uncomfortable to watch, as everything is going the way the bad guys want it to, and Washington takes a terrible beating. ML continues to spit in their faces whenever she can.
What looks like a routine action film ends up with some pretty good surprises and a dynamite pace. In its own genre it’s a lot like the original Die Hard (1988) film with Bruce Willis. Full of great action and stunts, likable good guys and brilliant and insidious villains. What more do you want? How about a vacation in Bossier, Louisiana?
Rated 3.5 out of 4.0 reasons you are not going to like the North Koreans if you watch Olympus Has Fallen. You probably didn’t anyway.