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Published on April 20th, 2013 | by Yellow Magpie

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Olympus Has Fallen Film Review: Strong Contender For Worst Film Of 2013

Olympus Has Fallen Film Review

Here is Yellow Magpie’s Olympus Has Fallen Film Review.

Director: Antoine Fuqua.
Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman.

Occasionally films will have a couple of bad actors featuring prominently. A script might be weak in places or the plot might become illogical. Olympus Has Fallen is not one of those films. Atrocious acting is the norm, not the exception, the plot has got more holes in it than a sieve and there is scarcely a minute of footage that isn’t littered with errors. Welcome to the leading contender for worst film of 2013.

The plot, although it scarcely deserves such a word, consists of a lone man, Mike Banning, pitting himself against well-prepared North Koreans who have taken the White House and captured the U.S. President, Benjamin Asher.

Olympus Has Fallen Film Review Mike Banning (Gerard Butler)

Leading the North Koreans terrorists is one of the world’s most wanted but apparently scarcely known men – a dangerous psychopath who wants access to codes that will self destruct all American nuclear warheads.

Scarcely any actors in Olympus Has Fallen emerge with their reputations intact. This is through a combination of a non-existent script and off-performances, although it is certainly not a 50/50 split. It appears that the scriptwriters have never written a previous film and it shows – badly.

‘her appearance also coincides with opening scenes that are so sentimentally saccharine they could give you toothache.’

Ashley Judd gives a very poor performance as Asher’s wife, Margaret. Her input is disproportionate to the amount of minutes her character is on screen. Although to be fair to Judd her appearance also coincides with opening scenes that are so sentimentally saccharine they could give you toothache.

Aaron Eckhart as Benjamin Asher is one of the worst portrayals in the film. Certainly not aided by woeful writing, Eckhart’s Asher lacks all the usual attributes that a president would have. Asher is devoid of charisma and lacks conviction. It is difficult even to fathom why anyone would have voted for him in the first place.

Olympus Has Fallen Film Review Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) And Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart)

Rick Yune’s Kang is the worst of all the leading performances in the film. He has just two expressions – angry and very angry. The big problem for Yune is that his portrayal and the scripting of the character is completely at odds with reality.

‘Finally, completing the trilogy of implausible disbeliefs is the fact that it takes more than one video conference for the top intelligence officers to realise the identity of Kang.’

It’s hard to imagine how a complete loon could have found himself in such a position of power when his only apparent trait is rage. It is even more difficult to accept that one of the world’s most wanted men can get past White House security. Finally, completing the trilogy of implausible disbeliefs is the fact that it takes more than one video conference for the top intelligence officers to realise the identity of Kang.

Gerard Butler’s portrayal of Mike Banning is mixed. He is perfect at the action sequences and wisecracks. Nevertheless, he flounders whenever he is required to deliver more nuanced acting and his limited range is exposed.

Dylan McDermott’s renegade Forbes is the head-and-shoulders stand-out performance in the film. McDermott provides presence and draws our interest whenever he is on screen. Unfortunately, none of his character’s motivations are at all convincing. And this is especially evident as the film nears it conclusion.

Olympus Has Fallen Film Review Kang (Rick Kune) And Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart)

Morgan Freeman’s talents as politician, Allan Trumbull, go completely unused as the script prevents him from contributing anything. Trumbull should be somewhat articulate and intelligent, traits befitting his senior position as House Speaker. Instead the writing turns him into a dullard incapable of analysing the most misguided of tactics and seeing through the thinnest of rouses.

Radha Mitchell is perfectly adequate as Banning’s wife, Leah, but most of her scenes seem completely extraneous and unnecessary to the storyline. Her character is once again wheeled out at the film’s conclusion in another scene that doesn’t make any sense either.

‘You could drag random strangers off the street and they would probably be able to deliver their lines with better aplomb than those that were selected.’

There are two clear-cut examples of where one-line minor roles are also horribly cast. You could drag random strangers off the street and they would probably be able to deliver their lines with better aplomb than those that were selected.

The film is not completely without merits. Aesthetically, there are some very well-executed scenes but without any semblance of logic to underpin them they have no substance. Essentially, the film treats the viewers as if they are idiots who will just accept any nonsense.

Olympus Has Fallen Film Review North Korean Terrorists

It’s hard to keep track of the amount of gaping holes in Olympus Has Fallen. Ordinarily as viewers we go along with the flow. There is  audience goodwill that gives filmmakers plenty of scope to put things on screen that could not possibly happen in reality. Olympus Has Fallen uses up all that goodwill in the movie’s introductory scenes alone.

There are so many problems with this film that you consciously find yourself picking out flaws in order to be distracted from the unpleasant experience of watching it.

‘The breaking of protocol security is also required just to keep the entire storyline afloat because without this there is no film.’

We have the appointment of the technologically-backwards North Koreans as the antagonists outwitting all and sundry. The stunning stupidity of the U.S. government aids and their bizarre ‘tactics’. The breaking of protocol security is also required just to keep the entire storyline afloat because without this there is no film. We have a small model aeroplane with a yet undiscovered power source that can last hours in flight.

Olympus Has Fallen Film Review Connor Asher (Finley Jacobsen) And Mike Banning (Gerard Butler)

The only three people who have the self-destruct codes just happen to all be in the same place at the same time. The supposedly well-trained North Koreans also decide to group together while shooting at White House security forces – yet their side still manages to somehow win.

We have a propeller-driven plane with guns that are controlled by a pilot who can’t actually see the target yet hits everything with amazing accuracy. Our protagonist Banning, despite being armed to the teeth, prefers to use his hands rather than guns even when his location is discovered. Finally the North Korean’s cunning master plan would be almost entirely ineffective in reality. The list goes on and on…

Apparently $70 million was wasted to make Olympus Has Fallen. They would have been better off burning the money, filming the blaze and charging people to watch the footage. The result and the fallout would have guaranteed to have been far more interesting than Olympus Has Fallen and obviously a more worthy cause.

Not Recommended Viewing

You can obtain Olympus Has Fallen here from Amazon.

Amazon.co.uk
For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom, you can access: Olympus Has Fallen from here.

Amazon.ca
For Canada: Olympus Has Fallen.

Amazon.fr
For France: Olympus Has Fallen.


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2 Responses to Olympus Has Fallen Film Review: Strong Contender For Worst Film Of 2013

  1. Dermot says:

    I’m guessing i shouldn’t watch this so! Like the line “Finally, completing the trilogy of implausible disbeliefs is the fact that it takes more than one video conference for the top intelligence officers to realise the identity of Kang”. 🙂

  2. Yellow Magpie says:

    Thanks for your comment, Dermot.

    No, probably not is the answer!

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