DVD Review “Olympus Has Fallen”

Actors: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster
Directors: Antoine Fuqua
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
DVD Release Date: August 13, 2013
Run Time: 120 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

When you watch a film like “Olympus Has Fallen”, you have to go in just expecting a mindless kick-ass action thriller and that is exactly what you get. The director Antoine Fuqua has delivered us great films in the past like “Training Day” and delivers here again.  It packs a powerful cast including Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett, and Melissa Leo. The talent is there, the action is there.  This film is plain and simple fun.  I am not sure why though Hollywood has this obsession with destroying the White House but it makes for an entertaining film, no doubt.

Official synopsis: When the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”) is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning’s inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President, and avert an even bigger disaster.

“Olympus Has Fallen” is a film that needs to be seen on the biggest screen and in with the best audio/video quality. I feel that besides theatrical, Blu-ray is the only way to really watch this in my opinion. Despite the audio/video, aspect, my biggest issue with DVD’s today is that they lack a lot of the extras that Blu-ray contains.  There are tons of great special features included on the Blu-ray and yet we get nothing on the DVD release. It is completely bare-bones and that to me is very disappointing.  The only positive is that there is an Ultraviolet digital copy. I definitely would recommend going Blu with this one!

Film Review "Olympus Has Fallen"

Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Rated: R
Running time: 2 hrs
Film District

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

It’s a snowy night at Camp David. President Asher (Eckhart) is currently in the ring, sparring with his main Secret Service man, Mike Banning (Butler). Later that evening the president, his wife (Ashley Judd) and son (Finley Jacobsen) will leave for a party and get into an accident, one that leaves Mike having to choose whether to save the president or the first lady. Sorry, ma’am. Tales, you lose. Eighteen months later Mike finds himself riding a desk at the Treasury Department, no longer a part of the presidential detail. But an attack on the president soon brings Mike back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Directed with maximum impact, “Olympus Has Fallen” could easily be pitched as “Die Hard” in the White House. Not only because the film has some great action but because screenwriters Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt have borrowed several plot turns from the adventures of Mr. John McClane. As this is their first produced screenplay I can only think that in between writing sessions they wore down a VHS copy of “Die Hard” in the VCR. I would be giving away plot points to go any further but I urge you to watch “Olympus Has Fallen” and not say to yourself, “Hey, that’s just like in “Die Hard.”

Retread plot aside, what the film has going for it is a top notch director and a charismatic star (just like “Die Hard,” I might add). Director Fuqua, who guided Denzel Washington to an Oscar in “Training Day,” has a great eye for action and stages the initial attack on the nation’s capital with some breath-taking special effects. Butler, in growling “300” mode, kicks ass and takes names when he’s allowed to switch himself on and defend his commander in chief from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Except a couple of lazy screen writers.