Culture Street

By Sophia Whitfield

Olympus Has Fallen opens with Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) in charge of security detail for President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and the First Lady Margaret Asher.  Following a car accident Banning saves the President but is unable to save the First Lady. Blaming himself Banning leaves the Secret Service in join the US Treasury. He continues to pine for his old job, missing his former colleagues as well as the President and his son.

Months later during a visit from Minister Lee of South Korea; the White House comes under siege. President Asher is ushered into the bunker by his Secret Service agents along with Minister Lee and Kang, his head of security.

Kang takes the President hostage as he steps up to lead the operation against the US. The White House has been decimated. In an stroke of luck, Banning happens to be nearby at the time, he is able to make his way inside the White House, through the carnage, as he searches for the President’s son, soon realising it is up to him to end the siege. The fate of the American people now lies with one lone man, Banning. He must avert further destruction.

The action film is directed by filmmaker Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”) and written by first-time writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt. In between the slow motion action sequences the film is infused with symbolism (an American flag riddled with bullet holes) in a nod to American patriotism.

The screenplay is unable to carry the film, which relies heavily on action sequences. Even an appearance by Morgan Freeman as the able Speaker Trumbull is unable to save this film from its formulaic monotony.

Olympus Has Fallen was released today in cinemas across Australia.

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