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Rediff.com  » Movies » Review: Olympus Has Fallen is ambitious but banal

Review: Olympus Has Fallen is ambitious but banal

March 22, 2013 13:25 IST

A scene from Olympus Has FallenOlympus Has Fallen could do with better writing, writes Aknur Pathak.

A
s America’s geo-political relationship with other countries changes, so does the nationality of the villain in Hollywood.

In the somewhat ridiculous Olympus Has Fallen, a creepy terrorist from North Korea is on a bombing spree in Washington DC and has managed to hold none other than the President of the United States as hostage, while taking control of the White House -- the most protected building on earth.

If we were still in the early 2000s, probably the bad guys would have been kohl-eyed and heavily bearded; thirty years before it would have been the Russians.

But Olympus Has Fallen takes patriotic films to an all new low aided by some of the most corny lines.

White House is under an unprecedented attack by a paramilitary group from North Korea and there’s nobody other than Gerard Butler – who was chilling around the area in Washington DC –can save the President who, along with his Secretary of Defense is huddled in a bunker, 120-feet below the high profile building.

Butler, we learn that Butler was thrown out of the Special Forces after he had to sacrifice the First Lady’s life to save the President, and now he works for the Secret Services. Having once worked for the Prez, we are to assume that the blueprint of the White House is permanently lodged in his brain, and will remain there until its blown off, which as we all know, will never happen.

The Acting President -- and we have never seen Morgan Freeman so painfully bored in a role that seemingly demands a little more activity -- sits and watches over the proceedings with a handful of helpers all mouthing one corny line after the other, ironically in Pentagon’s Crisis Room.

“He will move mountains or die trying,” says the Head of Secret Service referring to Butler’s impeccable capabilities. Butler, on the other hand is blowing an army of heads and hardly getting bruised close to the Oval Office.

The film's premise is as predictable and prosaic as the dialogues. The entire film, or at least most of it could have been prevented from becoming the mishap that it is, had anybody paid enough attention to the priceless words of the President.

“The United States of America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists,” Aaron Eckhart states with brooding intensity. But that’s what they end up doing with the whole film!

To gauge it in terms of unintentional entertainment, the film scores with some funny scenes.

The nationalistic spirit it aims to inspire is extremely superficial and comes across as a flawed tool.

Some inspired writing and more plausible plot-points could make the film more engaging. Unfortunately, it is reduced to just another Hollywood film which can be watched and laughed at, and then forgotten immediately.

Rediff Rating:

Ankur Pathak in Mumbai
 

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