Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Olympus Has Fallen

Action movies seem to be a pretty safe genre. If you make an action movie, and people really like it, then you can bask in the glow of the success that is yours. If the movie turns out to be crap, you can muscle your way out of it with "It was just meant to be a fun action movie!" Unfortunately, we seem to have more and more movies ducking behind that excuse rather than actually trying to make a good flick. I'm looking at you, Michael Bay, and whoever directed that god awful GI Joe movie. Not the new one, the first one. I haven't seen the new one but from what I hear, I'm not missing much. But I digress. Olympus Has Fallen is one of those movies where I went into it with the mentality of "It'll just be a fun action movie, nothing more", and boy was I surprised. This movie is like the first Die Hard if it was written by the head writer of 24. It has some good action, though I will admit, I found myself giggling at a bit of horrid CGI at the beginning, but it's only for a second and since this movie is focused more on practical effects for the rest of the runtime, I can forgive it. It has good action, the characters are cool, and the villain, who if it were written by anyone else would be witty and have a sympathetic element to him, is a completely soulless douchebag. And honestly, I don't mind that. If your villain is a terrorist who hates America with every fiber of his being, then I don't really think you need to make him sympathetic, you just need to get us to hate him. And they do a good job of that, half of it has to do with the writing and what he does, and the other half is the strong performance of the character playing him. While we are talking about strong performances, I have to bring up Gerard Butler. Of the action stars that have been coming on the scene in the past few years, he is by far one of my favorites. Sure, not all of his movies have been great (and I'm being nice when I say that), but the guy is a good actor and I think he is much like Liam Neeson in that we know that he can do more heavy dramatic stuff, but the one thing everyone likes to see him do best is kick someone's ass. And in Olympus, I feel like we got to see both sides of his acting ability, the ass kicker and the more dramatic side. Though, when it comes to the action, he is the love child of John McClane and Jack Bauer, he even has a badass torture seen that I thought was very reminiscent of some of the stuff we saw Jack do in 24. And again, much like an episode, or even an entire season of 24, there is always that scene where the audience learns the ultimate endgame of the bad guy, and you realize that there is so much more at stake than we first thought. You'd think that the life of the president would be as far as they go. But you would be wrong. DEAD WRONG. When I went into this movie, I had no idea I would be sitting on the edge of my seat during the final act, but there I was, almost falling off my seat.
So overall, I would really recommend this movie, especially if you are an action junky.

P.S- I'm thinking of starting a new grading scale for the movies I see here. I'll still be doing the regular letter grades, but I'll be adding an additional comment on the side. Something like "Buy it on blu-ray" or "Save it for the dollar theater" or the classic "Don't bother". I know that's not very original, some critics do that all the time, but I have had a number of people ask me stuff like that, so I figured I would give it a try on here.

Verdict- A-, buy it on blu-ray

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