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Olympus Has Fallen  : Fallen, indeed!
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Friday, March 22, 2013
Action - Thriller
Antoine Fuqua
Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Dylan McDermott, Morgan Freeman, Finley Jacobson, Angela Bassett
It’s perfect Hollywood formula. The setting – USA, the situation – a terrorist attack on the country, the crisis – the President in danger and the saviour – the fallen underdog, the hero who’s the sole person who can save the White House resident. Perhaps ideal fare for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The plot: Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) was President Benjamin's (Aaron Eckhart) favourite agent until the day Mike had to make a Hobson’s choice: save the Prez or his wife? His obvious choice gets him thrown out of the President's personal service and he ends up behind a desk. But life is not always unfair and Mike gets a chance to win back his dignity, though at the cost of massive destruction and a pile-up of bodies.

While the White House is under attack and the President is taken as hostage by mad man Kung (Rick Yune), Mike is the lone survivor out of all the secret service agents, the only link from the inside to the outside world. No prizes for guessing the ending here. 

The good: Director Antoine Fuqua maintains a steady pace to create adequate tension. Mike Banning's solo show, although way too optimistic, keeps you entertained and keeps your heart racing. Writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt take a stale plot and sprinkle it with humour (sometimes unintentional too). Gerard Butler is super at every turn. In the brief role as the President's son Connor, Finley Jacobson shines. Aaron Eckhart doesn't quite come across as the President of the US whereas Morgan Freeman as Speaker Trumbull is perfect.
 
The bad: There is a lot of violence; too much shooting, killing, and it is all very brutal and in-the-face. The plot is improbably heroic and feels juvenile even as it entertains in parts. The special effects for all the shooting, the helicopters being gunned down and crashing, is shoddy B-grade stuff. Music by Trevor Morris is nothing out of ordinary.

Overall: Would you pay and go to a theatre to watch a sincerely made but old-school drama? The choice is yours.

– Priyanka Ketkar
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