It’s good to see Gerard Butler kicking ass.
You’ve seen a lot of it before, with Olympus Has Fallen taking its cues from various action films. Die Hard consistently coming to mind. Butler’s character Banning is aware of the situation he has put himself in, isn’t afraid of getting chatty with the villains (“Lets play a game of ‘fuck off. You go first”), and gets suitably banged up.
I do approve of action characters who don’t toss about when it comes to fights. If a bullet in the head from close does the trick, why spend 2 minutes kicking and punching? Each fight made sense in the situation it took place in, so it didn’t seem like action for the sake of it. The kill count for this film is easily at Verhoeven levels, with the Army and Secret Service in particular taking massive casualties.
The main issue is one of patriotism. Yes it’s the White House. Yes it’s the centre of American democracy. WE GET IT. Shots of American flags add up and though I’m aware of the symbolism, it comes off as laughable.
Highly derivative as it may be, Olympus Has Fallen is an entertaining action flick that should satiate your hunger for bullets and explosions for an evening. If you want straight up action, here you go. Even if it’s a bit close to home.