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Olympus Has Fallen (2013) Review

Original review posted on IMDB, here.

If you’re looking for an action film straight out of the 90’s but stuck in the present day, you’ll arrive at Olympus Has Fallen. We’re initially led to believe that this might offer a story of personal redemption, when it’s in fact a rudimentary action flick with little purpose beyond entertaining the regular American viewer.

There’s nothing wrong with offering a film such as this, so long as its entertaining. And, thankfully, Olympus Has Fallen offers enough enjoyable and compelling moments to keep its viewers watching with some degree of interest. No, the characters are not compelling and far from fully developed, and that’s not necessarily the point. The point here is to keep the audience entertained and occupied, which is done sufficiently, if in an inconsistently effective manner.

Gerard Butler does what he has to, being the fairly routine action hero a la John McClane, which is a bit of a shame since the opening act alludes to so much more. But by the second half, just about all potential for actual exploration is cast aside. Aaron Eckhart is a likable actor in all of his performances, even in one as underplayed as this. There’s also a potentially strong predicament foreshadowed early on that could’ve been utilized to give the film a great edge, but it’s ultimately abandoned for the routine action movie wrap-up. Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite key player, Morgan Freeman, really seems bored in each scene, as if he’s only there to occupy the cameraman’s attention.

As you can probably guess, both the plot and characters are thin, with only implied potential separating the key players from even more routine movies (which isn’t saying much). The action and tension are where Olympus Has Fallen is left to shine, which it does during the time is plays. Looking back, however, it’s far easier to pick the movie apart. You’ll be entertained while watching it, but left banging your head shortly after leaving the theater.

Given the lackluster stream of movies released so far this year, Olympus Has Fallen is able to make enough room for itself. Taken into account with other action films, however, there’s little (if anything) to truly make it stand out. There’s a sense of identity crisis here, as the film is more or less lost in another time period and suggests more than it delivers. For my money, it’s decent popcorn entertainment, but not much else.

 
 

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Quote Review: The Expendables 2 (2012)

“Let’s make it more dramatic.”

The Expendables 2 knows its audience and prides itself on giving us what is, let’s be honest, wonderfully pleasing stupidity.  Testosterone levels don’t get much more pronounced than this.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Blog, Film, Film Review, Movies, Review

 

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Quote Review: Bowling for Columbine (2002)

“If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?”
“I wouldn’t say a single word to them, I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.”

Moore’s works clearly aren’t intended for everyone, and though one might argue his recent films (Fahrenheit 9/11) don’t hit the right mark, what can’t be denied are the valuable points made here. It’s incredible that even with the film having been released nearly a decade ago, we still have the same problems going on. And like a proper documentary, the analysis we get throughout most of the film isn’t the (only) final point made. Yet what’s best is that Bowling for Columbine doesn’t try to force its own ideas, but rather leaves the audience wondering what to think and do after watching. The topic being discussed is more important than the filmmaker’s own views or personal thoughts.

What did you think of Bowling for Columbine?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

 
 

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Quote Review: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

“I have arrived at the party!”

The plot is every bit as convoluted as it is contrived, but the entertainment (more from the humor–namely thanks to Simon Pegg) is at a sufficient level, ranking the fourth Mission Impossible as no better and no worse than most of the year’s summer action films.  But that’s exactly what most viewers will be content with (and shall receive).

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Film Review, Movie Review

 

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