Olympus Has Fallen (2013) - A gripping action thriller with minimal propaganda tendencies - 8/10 (29/03/13)
This movie is an entertaining, action and tension filled thriller in the key of the Die Hard series where terrorists attack the White House from the inside and menace American society and have to be stopped by a disgraced lone wolf who wants to clear his name and save his country.
From the dramatic opening scene to the tension filled ending, this movie is a breathless hunt. The action scenes are off course a little bit overproduced but it's better than other recent Hollywood flicks like "A Good Day to Die Hard" that simply go too far with their special effects and feel rather ridiculous in the end. The story line is definitely nothing new but the intensity and the surprisingly solid acting Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Melissa Leo, Morgan Freeman and antagonist Rick Yune make this movie one of the better of its popular and repetitive kind. On a personal note, I might also add supporting actress Malana Lea who doesn't have a big role but who perfectly incarnates the devil in disguise, a breathtaking beauty with a truly evil side.
Nevertheless, the movie has a couple of flaws. It's not quite clear what happens to the First Lady in the beginning of the movie. I thought the accident scene on the bridge was somewhat strange. Was it a simple accident or an attack from the outside? The movie includes other strange moments. The role of the character played by Dylan McDermott remains mysterious. One gets no credible reason for his negative attitude as well as for his sudden change of mind. It's also strange that he isn't used by the main actor after his change of mind to mix up things in the bunker of the White House. His role could have been a lot more profound and he could have been the changing element of the whole story. Instead, his fate is quickly abandoned. Let's add also that even the intentions of the antagonists remain somewhat superficial. How did they all infiltrate the South Korean government as well as the United States of America and what are the true convictions and reasons behind their actions? I'm aware of the fact that this flick is meant to be a straight action thriller but a little bit more depth would have been a great deal as well to stand out of all these quite similar movies.
Once again, I must also add that this film includes mild propaganda elements. It's not as evident as in "Red Dawn" but maybe similar to "Argo". Instead of choosing mafia bosses, radical American terrorists who want to destroy their own government or an international gangster organization, it had to be once again pro North Korea terrorists. This movie underlines in a subtle way how dangerous this American enemy could be and what could eventually happen if one didn't try to prevent them from doing what they do. I think that arts and politics shouldn't mix too much. There have been plenty of patriotic war movies after the 9/11 incident and they surely had their reasons to be there. After a few years, these patriotic movies disappeared but now they seem to have come back over the last three years or so for no apparent reason. These slight propaganda attitudes seem to have for goal to challenge the nation's enemies and to make people believe that the United States of America are still going strong despite the economic crisis and the events that made Afghanistan and Iraq a second or third Vietnam. I would have liked this movie more if the terrorists had not been stereotypes of an American enemy.
Despite these few flaws, this movie is truly entertaining and among the strongest films of the not so young year 2013. I recommend you to watch this film in your local cinemas to be able to appreciate the great sound and special effects it has. As many people said, this is what the last "Die Hard" movie should have been.« Argo (2012) - Wasted potential because of a one-sided attitude with many lengths and a lack of depth - 6/10 (29/03/13)Stratovarius - Nemesis (2013) (9,5/10) »