Swanner: Let me start by saying Olympus Has Fallen is not a sequel to any of those terrible Titan movies. The title refers to the White House code name being Olympus and the “has fallen” part means it’s been seized by an outside force. The storyline follows former Presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) who finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President (Aaron Eckhart) from his kidnappers.
Judd: While Olympus Has Fallen is nothing more than a low-rent Die Hard, it is a cheeky, fun movie that knows it’s a paint-by-number story of one man looking for redemption by taking on a group of bad guys that no one else can handle. From the beginning, where the terrorists strike and overtake the Whitehouse to the very end, with the last bloody fight, it is apparent that the script and director Antoine Fuqua think nothing of precision, strategy and modern tactics. Both bad guys and good were a step away from hacking at each other with dull hatchets.
Swanner: These kinds of films can get pretty over the top with the acting, but everyone really controlled their performances. Besides Butler, who knows how to play a hero and Eckhart you have strong performances from Morgan Freeman and Rick Yune. I was most impressed with Melissa Leo, who plays the Secretary of Defense. Anyone who thinks she didn’t deserve her Oscar will certainly remember her in this film. The only person I though didn’t fit was Dylan McDermott, which surprises me because he’s usually spot on.
Judd: Eckhart had his moments where he got to look heavenward and scream “Noooooo!” so don’t make it sound like Alistair Cooke would be filming an intro for the home release. Olympus Has Fallen is the movie I was looking for when we went to see The Call. Though now that I think about it, I’m not sure why I assumed a movie about two women gabbing on the phone should be interesting. While Leo and Freeman added gravitas and pedigree, the movie knows that it’s trashy, bloody fun and doesn’t try to be anything more.
Swanner: Absolutely but as you said it’s a low rent Die Hard…but the first one…the good one. I went in to this film not expecting much. the preview wasn’t selling me on it but I went because it’s my job and like The Call, I really ended up liking it a lot. For the genre it worked. I think this is the perfect go to the theater and see it movie. It’s big, loud and I was totally entertained.