Within minutes of the opening, the White House is attacked and taken over from within the security bunker in "Olympus Has Fallen." After that, demoted Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself maneuvering his way a la Jack Bauer through dark, body-strewn White House halls, the Lincoln Bedroom, underground tunnels and finally, the presidential bunker.
The threat of nuclear holocaust and World War III looms as the president and the Joint Chiefs of Staff strive to outmaneuver a cold-blooded terrorist that schemes and implements the White House's demise.
Intense and gory action, political intrigue and tests of moral courage mix inside DC's "Olympus" - once a symbol of American superiority - as the nation helplessly watches from outside.
Actors Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhardt and Angela Bassett performed acceptably, but Gerard Butler was at his best in a screenplay that focused more on action than on character development.
The "Olympus Has Fallen's" president was weak and cowardly compared to Harrison Ford's gutsy "Get off my plane!" presidency in "Air Force One." There was little to be proud of as an American as the surprisingly vulnerable Olympus fell into the hands of a vicious North Korean pscyhopath. Viewers left the theare quiet and somewhat perplexed - no longer confident about beating back ingeneous terrorists that threaten our safety and way of life.
Could what happened on the screen happen for real, the audience was forced to ask themselves, especially when the movie was filmed in 2012, before North Korea was plastered on our cable news networks threatening the U.S. as they are now.
We give "Olympus Has Fallen" 2 stars - and that generous assessment is due to Gerard Butler's exceptional performance. Call us corny and old-fashioned, but we're energized by screenplays and films that uplift audience confidence and find reasons to be proud to be Americans.