I Fell for Olympus Has Fallen

The hubs and I take turn picking out the movies we see. Since we don't see that many films, we forget whose turn it is many times. We figured it must be Steve's turn but he decided to stack the deck to get me to agree to the movie he picked. His choice was Olympus Has Fallen and Steve sold me on the movie when he said, "It's about...the White House." Uh, huh. What I did not know was that he eliminated the words "the total annihilation of" that should have followed "about" and preceded "the." While he did not trick me, per se, he knew that as soon as I heard White House, I immediately envisioned some sort of romantic comedy in the vein of "Dave" or "The American President."

The movie begins at Camp David, lulling me into thinking I may enjoy this film. Not so. Now Steve also knows that I am a stickler for getting things correct in movies and when I saw the non-existent sign for "Camp David" prominently posted, I knew this movie would be filled with errors. As soon as I saw all the presidential vehicles speeding along bumper to bumper during a snowstorm I knew that any plausibility was gone. Really? Did anyone watching this actually think an accident would not occur?

Jumping ahead almost two years, the secret service agent (although not one of the speeding drivers) unable to save the first lady (the only casualty in the snowstorm crash) was demoted to some office in Treasury. However, he does not remain there because within minutes of showing him at his desk, the White House is attacked by air and ground. The White House is not only a mere few feet away from the guard fences, but scores of tourists, seeing the bombing of the building, remain staring at the building until they, too are gunned down. Likewise, after the attacks are obvious, visitors are still wandering around the Washington Monument until it is time for them to be killed too. Did no one watching the dailies in the editing booth, say, "Uh, what???"

Anyway, our plucky agent (played by Gerard Butler) becomes the only person able to get back into the White House and save the president (trapped in the bunker by the terrorists,) as well as the president's young son, hiding somewhere in the residence. Can he reach them in time? How much footage of ruined rooms and shot-up furniture must we endure before he does? Why didn't they just get really campy and show him removing the portrait of George Washington from the wall ala Dolley Madison? On second thought, that might have saved the movie for me.

Morgan Freeman once again appears in his obligatory role as "someone in charge" and Aaron Eckhart plays the typically brave and stoic president. My favorite character was the Secretary of Defense, played by Melissa Leo. Captured along with the prez, she shows real pluck as she takes a licking and keeps on ticking. The bravest one of the bunch, in my opinion -- and the most realistic.

I told my husband that this movie has cost him his next three film picks. It was not so much that the movie was so violent. It was that it was just so poorly made. Good thing I have The American President on DVD.

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