Matt Watches Bad Movies: Olympus Has fallen

Posted by Matthew on March 25, 2013

Olympus Has Fallen

So I haven’t done one of these in a while and there is a reason for that: I’ve been (mostly) watching good movies.

This weekend though I went to the movies to see what looked like it might be an ok movie and turned out to be pretty terrible. Olympus Has fallen does have one thing going for it though, it’s the funniest movie I’ve seen all year.

For the record the answer is no, it very much is not meant to be.

Director Antoine Fuqua seems to have been trying to make “Die Hard In the White House” but unfortunately screen writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt used the Standard Book of Movie Cliches and the end result is unintentionally hilarious.

The film starts out with Gerard Butler starring as the best of the of the best and the most dedicated secret service agent in charge of President Aaron Eckhart’s security detail. He’s also the president’s best friend and the president’s sons best friend too. On their way to a fundraising dinner during a goddamned blizzard for some reason there’s an accident and the president’s wife is killed.

A year and a half later he’s been reassigned to the treasury and he wants back in bu tthe president won’t let him because he (understandably) doesn’t want to be reminded of his dead wife every day. Everyone and their dog goes out of their way to tell Gerard that “he made the right call”, he’s still “one of the best” and that “even the president knows that he made the right choice” in saving the president.

Oh yeah, the wife didn’t just die, she died because Gerard saved the president but not her.

Anyway, all hell breaks loose and Gerard manages to fight his way into the white house and after a long battle sequence he’s the only friendly left in the building. When he manages to make contact with the people in charge on the outside everyone who has just reassured him that they believe in him immediately responds by asking “HOW DO WE KNOW WE CAN TRUST THIS GUY?”

This is the point at which I started laughing.

I don’t even want to spoil this for you people so i am not going to. This is what I am going to tell you.

Remember how I ended up liking Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 2 because it finally struck the right balance of ridiculousness to make it funny instead of just terrible? This movie is like that. It’s not good by any stretch. In fact, it’s annoyingly “AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!” patriotic at times. However, I will list some of the cliches you’re going to see on screen:

  1. Wife dies in the prologue creating tension between protagonist and secondary lead
  2. One man against all the terrorists
  3. Bad guy leader slowly removes glasses to reveal he’s the bad guy leader
  4. Questioning the trustworthyness/reliability of character already pointed out to be trustworthy and reliable
  5. Character established as lazy and self interested turns out to be traitor.
  6. When traitor asked “why did you sell out your country?” responds with 3 minute rant about president selling out the country first.
  7. President instructs subordinates to not negotiate. Subordinates immediately negotiate.
  8. People in charge do not listen to intelligence on the ground from protagonist.
  9. People in charge informed bad guys have stolen new super weapon. People in charge shrug this information off.
  10. No one realizes that totally secure fail safe device can be easily hacked to destroy the world. And isn’t secure.
  11. Protagonist defeats leader of bad guys through sheer force of will despite bad guys lifetime of hand to hand combat training.
  12. Gutshot character walks, then runs, toward the ambulance waiting outside.
  13. Protagonists wife is waiting outside the white house despite being previously established as being too swamped to leave her job at hospital.

And this isn’t even all. Does anyone else remember how in the movie “MacGruber” MacGruber’s thing was “rippin’ throats”? Well, Gerard Butlers thing in this is stabbing skulls. Totally not kidding.

I have no idea how they ended up with the cast they did. Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Cole Hauser, Aaron Eckhart, Rick Yune, Robert Forster and Melissa Leo are all good actors with a lot of good work on their resumes. The script must have been amazing, or they must have been paid a boat load of money, because the result is just terrible, but it is almost worth seeing because it’s so gloriously, hilariously bad.

**Rating: 4/10 (for America)

Matt Watches Bad Movies is a feature in which Matt watches a bad film so you don’t have to. If you have suggestions of something terrible you’ve seen, or haven’t seen but are morbidly curious about, feel free to tell me about it in the comments or via twitter @posterboy81

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