Movie concepts often hit theatres in two’s, I don’t know why. This summer saw the release of two films about the White House being attacked by terrorists. White House Down starred Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx and the other film is Olympus Has Fallen, out this week on Blu-ray and DVD.
Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is a secret service agent who is very close to the President (Aaron Eckhart) and his family. After failing to save the First Lady from a horrible car accident, Mike feels responsible and takes a position away from the first family. But when terrorists execute a bold attack on the White House, Mike uses his firsthand knowledge of the Presidential palace to try and stop them from finding the hiding President and holding the country in terror.
A friend of mine pointed out after watching Olympus Has Fallen that it would have made a perfect Die Hard movie and I really have to agree. This was an old fashioned rated R adult action film, the likes of which we do not see as often nowadays. The terrorists in the film pull no punches and are not fooling around. They take innocent lives and they do so without thought of consequence or guilt. They are vicious brutal killers. Butler has always been great at adding the everyman sensibility to his action roles and Olympus Has Fallen may be the best example of that yet. Butler’s Banning is a thoughtful guy who takes his job seriously and genuinely cares for the people he protects. When he decides to go back into the captured White House he does so not only because it is his duty, but out of personal responsibility to a family he treats as his own. The action sequences are spectacular and intense, which is what we have come to expect from director Antoine Fuqua, whose previous films include Training Day, Shooter and Tears of the Sun. Fuqua knows how to stage action to be realistic yet cinematic, balancing the physics of the real world with the showmanship of a big budget action director. Olympus Has Fallen is easily his most enjoyable film and would indeed have made a great John McClane Die Hard movie. But I am also okay with settling for Gerard Butler. He took care of business just fine.
The Blu-ray from VVS is all action goodness. The picture is full of great detail and clarity, with natural colors and saturation and a bombastic soundtrack with great rear channel activity. A stunner of a disc and a great adult action movie is just what the doctor ordered as our summer slowly crawls to an end. Grab some popcorn, the summer blockbusters aren’t done yet.
Available August 13, 2013 on Blu-ray and DVD.