Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), a former U.S. Army Ranger and Special Forces service member, is the lead Secret Service agent assigned to head the Presidential Detail. He maintains a personal, friendly relationship with President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), First Lady Margaret (Ashley Judd) and, especially, their son Connor. During a Christmas evening drive from Camp David to a campaign fundraiser, a tree branch falls and strikes the front of the president’s convoy, making the vehicles skid out of control on black ice on a bridge. The lead vehicle crashes through the guard rail and falls into the icy river below, leaving the presidential limousine teetering on the edge of the bridge. Banning is able to save President Asher, but Margaret and two other agents die when their vehicle falls and crashes. Eighteen months later, Banning works at the Treasury Department, within sight of the White House. He has been removed from the Presidential Detail because the sight of him triggers Asher’s memories of the night Margaret died. During a political meeting between Asher and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Tae-Woo (Keong Sim), North Korean-led guerilla forces, under the guise as local garbage services and a crowd of tourists, mount an air and ground assault. Aided inside the White House by treasonous members of Prime Minister Lee’s detail, including Dave Forbes (Dylan McDermott), a former Secret Service agent now a private security contractor, and aerial cover fire from a commandeered US military C-130 Hercules, the attack results in the eventual capture of the White House. Asher and several top officials are held hostage in the White House bunker, where the terrorists use a video connection to the Pentagon command center to show the execution of Prime Minister Lee. The attack has been masterminded by Kang Yeonsak (Rick Yune), a Korean terrorist who appears to be motivated by hope for a reunification of Korea. Kang seeks to use Asher’s hostage status as leverage to force U.S. officials to withdraw the Seventh Fleet and US troops from the Korean Peninsula, removing American opposition from a North Korean invasion on South Korea. He also seeks to destroy all of America’s nuclear weapons in their respective silos across the country, turning the U.S. into an irradiated wasteland as revenge for the deaths of his family. To accomplish this, he requires the access codes to Cerberus: a fail-safe device that self-detonates any U.S. nuclear missiles during an abort, which are held by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all of whom are present in the bunker. Asher orders the other two officials to reveal their codes to save their lives, certain that he will not give up his code. During the assault by Kang’s forces on the front lawn, Banning joins the White House’s defenders. He falls back into the building and hides. He then disables the internal surveillance and gains access to Asher’s satellite phone, which he uses to maintain contact with Jacobs and Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), the Speaker of the House who is now the Acting President. Authorized to proceed, Banning’s first act is to save Connor, whom Kang plans to use to force Asher to reveal his Cerberus code…

“Olympus Has Fallen” is more or less “Die Hard” in the White House, but not even close to the latter in storyline. There´s resemblances to Clint Eastwood´s “In The Line Of Fire” as well. Antoine Fuqua’s directs with tension and is good at creating believable and very violent action sequences. I reckon the first hour is not too shabby as a pure adrenaline action vehicle, even if the CGI is a bit too obvious in way too many scenes. But, when the last hour clocks in “Olympus Has Fallen” becomes more and more a flag waving pathetic patriotic dribble I can´t bear at least. Gerard Butler is wooden as Banning, Eckhart is not convincing as the President, Freeman looks tired and not on his toes and Yune does his normal bad guy routine. All in all I do like Antoine Fuqua´s direction and his strong sense for believable action, but “Olympus Has Fallen” is a movie that hardly will go to movie history (accept maybe the body count) and I would recommend to pass on it. (2 and a half out of 5)

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