After the death of the first lady in a terrible accident, Presidential guard Mike Banning is disgraced and relieved of his duty. Attached to a desk job in the Treasury department, Mike Banning still feels responsible for the first ladys' death, longing for a chance to get back into the saddle. He gets his chance, when the White House is captured by a terrorist and the President is kidnapped, with Banning finding himself trapped within the building, secluded and alone. Antoine Fuqua's Olympus Has Fallen is a decent action film which draws heavily from the Die Hard mold, essentially being Die Hard set in the White House. The film uses similar plot points all over from the disgraced protagonist to the ineptitude of the national security team's attempt to take back the White House. The opening sequence of Olympus Has Fallen reveals the terrible accident which would leave Mike Banning disgraced and without a job. In this sequence the film spends an almost comical amount of time showing how good of a person Mike Banning is. We see how close he is with the president and his family, even to the point of showing the President's son opting to ride with Banning on the fateful night. With this rather hokie sequence we see how the President blames Banning for his wife's death, setting up the emotional backbone of the film and capturing why Banning is so desperate to prove himself. Olympus Has Fallen has a good amount of action and while the film is quite unrealistic in its invasion sequence, I couldn't say it wasn't exciting. I think what surprised me the most is how much Olympus Has Fallen doesn't hold back in showing the violence and unnecessary death which would be the result of something like this. This is a hard R film that wants the viewer to see the carnage and feel the violence and a lot about how much you'll enjoy this film hinges on that point. Olympus Has Fallen is a pretty dumb film that is essentially Die Hard in the White House but if you enjoy these types of action extravaganzas it does enough right to be enjoyable.
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