By Debbie Elicksen.
Olympus Has Fallen (2013) is a scary political fiction because it could almost be too close to the truth if the wrong person gets elected and hires the wrong staff. Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt wrote a screenplay that should be mandatory reading/viewing for all presidential candidates and voters. The icing on the production is the way that Director Antoine Fuqua put it all together.
Gerard Butler is disgraced former presidential guard Mike Banning. Aaron Eckhart is a somewhat useless President Benjamin Asher. Rick Yune is the calculated Trojan Horse and Dylan McDermott is convincing as the despicable traitor. Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, and Ashley Judd are also cast in the film.
There are a lot of long stretches from reality in the script, at least one would hope so. In real life, it would seem unlikely that an aircraft could penetrate a restricted airspace and be allowed to get away with such carnage so quickly before getting shot down. But for the sake of the movie, it does set up the story. You also wouldn’t see a foreign dignitary be allowed to bunker with the president in the same spot.
When armed mercenaries storm the White House before the U.S. army even gets its boots on, only a handful of local cops and some sorry-ass secret service agents are on hand to protect the presidency. The takeover reminds me of the final scenes of Scarface. There are a lot of handguns versus rapid assault weapons. It’s like a radicalized militant porn movie.
Much of the overblown gunfire adds to the entertainment factor, but where it gets real is with the wimpy leadership, to which it’s lack of conviction in decision making allows for the entire United States government to be taken hostage. The film makes you seriously think about the experience and ability of the next Commander In Chief. I give Olympus Has Fallen three stars out of five.