Starring: Harvey Dent, Lucius Fox, Batman with a gun, that guy from The Practice, and Johnny Tran
Olympus Has Fallen tells the tale of how ex-Secret Service Agent, Batman with a gun (hereby referred to as Bwag) redeems himself after being exiled for allowing Harvey Dent’s wife to fall off a bridge to her death.
Dent, having undergone several successful skin grafts in order to hide the previously disfigured half of his face, has rebounded quite well from his murderous days in Gotham and is now the President of the United States. He and Bwag share a strong bond early in the movie, which is spelled out for the dimwitted among us by scenes showing the pair sparring in a boxing ring, and Bwag sharing a tender moment with Dent’s son, where he ruthlessly turns off the TV as he plays Murder Simulator 4 on his PlayStation.
When things turn sour following the accident involving Dent’s wife, Bwag retreats to his Batcave and keeps an eye on his old pal in case he should ever find himself in trouble – by creepily glancing out of the window from a building located across the street from the White House.
Enter Johnny Tran, last seen being shot in the back in The Fast & The Furious and falling off his motorbike. He and his small army of North Korean commandos (where did they come from?) wage war on the White House, in an extremely overlong sequence featuring poor CGI planes and men getting shot for running headlong into gunfire. Repeatedly. Over and over. Don’t they teach the Secret Service the benefits of using cover in a gunfight? Like moths to a flame, these guys.
Miraculously, and fortunately for the sake of the plot, Bwag manages to find himself inside the White House unharmed. I never saw that coming. Meanwhile, Harvey has been ushered into Professor X’s metallic lair where Johnny Tran and that guy from The Practice are keeping him hostage. See, they want the US to stop meddling in Korean affairs, and the best way to make the Americans take notice is to devise a cunning, highly elaborate, and wholly improbable scheme to take control of ‘Olympus’, which I always thought was somewhere in Greece, but apparently is the same thing as the White House. Curse those Americans meddling in Greek affairs.
But with Dent and his vice President captured, who is there to lead the nation? Step forward Lucius Fox, whose only prior scene in the movie before his ascendency briefly showed him getting outvoted on an important issue which I didn’t care enough to remember. That’s called ‘foreshadowing’ folks. He gets shot down on an important decision, only to end up being the one who has to make the big choices in the end. Originality in spades.
This is all fine and dandy, except the only correct decision to be made at any given point in time seems to be listen to Bwag and let him get on with the job. By this point, Bwag is Rambo-ing his way through the West Wing, shooting bad guys in the head and getting stabby with his knife.
He’s a man on a mission. Save the President and prevent nuclear fallout, and maybe he can make it home for movie night with his wife. Oh, and totally redeem himself. That too.
So in the end, after not a single moment of nervous tension, despite the cliched countdown timer of imminent doom just seconds away from rendering the entire movie a waste of time, Bwag, all shooty-shooty-stabby-stabby comes up with the goods in all too predictable fashion. You’re left awaiting the big payoff, ever hoping that in this redemption tale, the movie itself can be redeemed. But it never comes, and it can’t be. You don’t particularly care about Bwag, as he doesn’t seem at all relatable in any way. This is a man who has no qualms about stabbing defenceless people in the head/neck, and has the personality of a shoelace. Far removed from the John McClane’s of the action movie world, his adventure rings hollow. You see him triumph, and you feel nothing. Meh.
He hugs his wife, Lucius smiles, a motivational speech is attempted, and the credits roll.
Olympus Has Fallen is a humourless, dull, uninspired, time-waster of an action movie – presented in a treasure chest, when a brown paper bag would have been more appropriate. Don’t be fooled by the cool posters, kids.
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