Olympus Has Fallen DVD review


  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Release Date: August 13, 2013
  • Run Time: 120 minutes

            If Hollywood studios insist on competing with each other in narratives of choice, at least we have some variety in the stylistic choices of these films. Within the first half of 2013, there were at least three films with central storylines involving the White House being invaded. In the most cartoonish sense, we have the ninjas invading the Oval Office in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. More in-line with the buddy action comedies of the 1990s is Roland Emmerich’s White House Down, while director Antoine Fuqua takes us down a darker path with Olympus Has Fallen.


            Gerard Butler heads up the ‘Die Hard in the White House’ plot as former Presidential guard Mike Banning. After this secret service agent fails the president, he is shamed with a job across the street from the White House, but an opportunity for redemption arises when an insurgent attack suddenly takes out the ground security and invades the White House, codename Olympus. The President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart) is taken hostage in the bunker, with only Banning as a hope to save him.


            When I read reviews saying that this was a dark film, I guess I assumed that they were merely referring to the fact that the lights are off in the White House for much of the film. It is dark in this sense, but also in the sense that there is little humor or light spectacle in the deaths. The type of action utilized here is the same as those in the Expendables films, minus the cheesy one-liners. Banning doesn’t just kill the invaders; he brutally hurts them and then emotionlessly ends them. The film might have been helped with some humor and less patriotic fervor, or perhaps may have been better accepted by audiences ten years ago when it may have served some cathartic purpose.


    Entertainment Value: 8/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10

    Historical Significance: 6/10

    Disc Features: 1/10


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