Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"Olympus has Fallen" (2013)

In 2013 there were two Die-Hard-in-the-White-House movies made. At the time I saw “White House Down” in theaters with my son because he wanted to see one and it was PG13. It was fun. It was silly. It was entertaining and didn’t take itself seriously. I heard from others that I had seen the wrong film. “Olympus” was the more serious film. It was grown-up. It was scary because it was R rated and therefore more realistic.

Now, having seen both, I can safely say about “Olympus has Fallen” that it is decidedly the lesser of the two. It is not really more serious, but it does take itself more seriously. It doesn’t have a silly moment. It is earnest to a fault. And, watching it I came to the realization that this is satire. I suspect it is unintentional though, because it isn’t fun. This film is full of overwrought, melodramatic moments.

The worst bits come from the “heroism” of the president. In “White House Down” Jamie Fox becomes the stereotypical action man. It is stupid, but fun. In “Olympus” Aaron Erkhart makes stupid decision after stupid decision. For instance, he repeatedly orders his subordinates to help the terrorists to avoid pain and death. In actuality, their deaths would end the threat. They would die heroes for their country. Ekhart’s character instead seeks to shoulder all the threat himself. In the end, that is what nearly helps the bad guys succeed.

I laughed out loud during both movies. But with “Olympus has Fallen” I was laughing AT the movie.

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