Olympus Has Fallen and It Can’t Get Up

Olympus Has Fallen

thCA803XFEI love the title. Do they really call the White House ‘Olympus’? Cuz, you know, that’s kinda cool. Sadly, they don’t, so it isn’t. And that defines the movie as much as anything. It’s just a whole lot of stuff they should have gotten right.

Here’s the idea. The White House is attacked by the Red Dawn baddies, aka, the North Koreans. It’s actually the best part of the movie, an amazing assault that seems all too likely to succeed in real life. They take over the White House, capture the President and  threaten to eat the family dog or something, but luckily there’s one tough-as-nails guy who can stop them. The way Die Hard 5 should have been.

gbGerald Butler is pretty good as the heroic hero who, surprisingly, does not fight most of the bad guys with his shirt off. Directed by Antoine Fuqua of Training Day fame, it has lots of gunfights, stabby-stab knife fights and great hand-to-hand combat. Action-wise, I give it full marks. However, there were so many moments in the film that were just, well, wrong.

A few of my bigger concerns.

  • The terrorists torture key people to get the super secret code. But why didn’t the terrorists torture everyone right away? I mean, what were they waiting for? The stars to align? Take-out? Torture them all, I say, do it now, and do it hard. But no, they did it like they weren’t surrounded by thousands of elite special forces troops, like it was just afternoon tea at the empress.
  • The Speaker says, ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists’. What crap. After only a few hours later, he’s willing to do just that and sell the world out to save one man. Nonsense. Utter nonsense but then the speaker was probably a democrat (or a republican depending on your political preference.)
  • If the good guys knew the super-secret codes were being hacked or people tortured to get the codes, hello, send someone in to all the turn off the wifi in the weapons so they wouldn’t receive the code.
  • The nuclear codes the president carries around with him in his lunch box can be reset. So, what do the writer’s do? They make another, an ever more super-secret set of codes and this time, the codes will blow up the American’s own missiles. Why? I don’t really know. I guess you never know when you want to nuke yourself or kill that rat in the silo.
  • Everyone in the war room seemed to basically be sitting around. Oh, the army arrives, well, tell them to wait so the bad guys can better defend and fortify their position. It’s not like the terrorists have access to super-secret codes or anything. No rush. Have a smoke. Watch some porn. Then, the good guys have lots of snipers deployed and they don’t use a one of them. Then, when war room sleepers finally decide to do something, ie, send in the SEALs, why not send in SEALs to recon? Or Delta Force? Why rely on one guy, even if he is Gerald Butler? Apparently they’re just kinda hoping the elite Korean Kommandos on the roof will look away at some point or don’t have night vision glasses.
  • So THEN, the egg heads in the war room decide to storm the place and send in helicopters? When they have no idea if the terrorists have anti-aircraft missiles? No feint. No, hey, look over there, Angelina Joli is naked, no, they go with a simple aerial insertion, without any supporting ground fire, without a ground attack, without air support (hey, what happened to those jets or why not use a C-130 of their own for the love of God!)
  • For some reason, they need someone important to die in the 1st part of the movie, so, I think, she can run for congress. But they do it in such a silly way: Speeding in a snowstorm. Bad idea. A little too contrived, if you ask me.
  • The head terrorist basically said, anyone attacks and we shoot the president, yet, when Gerard Butler attacks, the head terrorist doesn’t do jack about it. Does he dial the guys sitting around in the war room and say, stop that m*therf*cker or I’ll shoot Two-face in the face? No, he sends out a squad of men. To be fair, this squad was pretty hard core when killing thousands of secret service agents, but became somewhat ineffective when faced with a handsome hero.
  • Torture, oh my goodness, torture. These are bad guys. They aren’t kindergarten teachers. So what do they do? They punch the secdef a few times. Punch her! Do they cut off her nose? Drive a knife into her leg? Tear her tear out of her teeth with rusty pliers? Make her watch Jersey Shore? No. And the President can’t stand to see his people hurt so he tells them to give up a secret that will destroy every square inch of America? Seriously? Because the bad guys need 3 codes and he had one of them AND thinks he can hold out against torture? Well, maybe he could, cuz all they threatened him with was a punch in the nose. Watch someone get disemboweled slowly or have their skin peeled from their bodies in strips and maybe you’d think twice about the whole, oh I can take the torture thing.
  • What the f*ck was the Hydra thing? A big Gatling cannon? Ooooh. Watch out! Why did that have to get introduced? It clearly wasn’t as effective as shoulder launched missiles would have been, though it shot pretty lights into the night, but wait, hold on, didn’t that main terrorist dude say we’d kill the prez if the White House was attacked? Did he forget about that? It’s one thing to have Gerald Butler sneaking around, but this was a full-on attack! Either way, for some reason, they wanted to introduce a high-tech toy so that, errr, I guess, Gerard Butler could… destroy it? Hey, douchbags, terrorist 101, IEDs on the roof. Simple as that.
  • Does no one protecting the president have a bulletproof vest? Maybe they don’t but I have to wonder at that. I know I would. I’d have two. And a steel jock strap.
  • Has no one trained the secret service agents to lie prone and shoot from that position? Or from cover? Standing up, in the open, in the middle of a gun battle often leads to being shot in the head. And chest. And neck. And arms. And stomach. And, well, you get the idea. Cover, people, cover. Have they not played a video game in the last 100 years?
  • Ok, hold on, so like the entire South Korean delegation except for the president were terrorists? And the plan was to hope that the secret service would violate protocol, and let them all into a small, enclosed space with the leader of the free world and the woman who had sex with Louie CK? And the delegation were all allowed to carry their weapons? Someone please talk to someone in the secret service. This would never happen. Those guys don’t give a rats ass about politics, they are all about one thing, save the prez.
  • There wasn’t a single naked woman in the show. How did this happen?

And that’s just off the top of my head.

Too many, ‘wait, what?’ moments.

I don’t know if I’d say ‘miss this one,’ it does have great action, but if you go, leave your brain behind.

About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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7 Responses to Olympus Has Fallen and It Can’t Get Up

  1. bevcooke says:

    If you found that many glitches without turning your brain on, it’s defintely a miss in my books. But I loved the post!

  2. CMrok93 says:

    As bad as the CGI is in some parts, the movie does deliver in action, and that’s all I wanted to see and enjoy. Good review Joe.

  3. John E. says:

    Great review. But a couple additions and comments
    1: Addition: Why didn’t the good guys use the Hydra in the beginning when the White House was certain to be overrun? If it can dish out that much firepower and if a C-130 is firing, mounted large machine guns are deploying, and Barrett Sniper Rifle, Rocket Propelled, Full Auto Carrying lunatics kill everyone before moving in… It’s past time to deploy the Hydra. It would have stopped the attack in the first place if it took out the Seal Team.

    2: Comment: They would have Bulletproof vests, but bullet proof vests of IIIA (strong) construction still can’t repel a 5.56 NATO round. I imagine the terrorist had at least that if not more powerful rounds in every rifle.

    3: Addition: The seals would have “flown to the X” (fly to the location and fast rope down) or fly to the Y (drop) nearby and hoof it. There are always multiple contingency plans such as heavy fire from the roof that would set plans b, c, d, and zzz into effect. They just flew around taking fire, WRONG. Yes te HYDRA scared them but the hydra was known to leadership and if Butler knew what it was, the joint chiefs would have as well. It would especially be known to many other high ranking officers who had a hand in the SEAL raid. And why were the ground forces doing nothing during the raid? Yes they were ordered to stand down, but when 5 of 6 helps go down, someone needed to hit the hydra with a tank shell.

    4: Comment: Even if the Korean delegation wasn’t allowed in as a favor (which, as you said, would never happen), there was a secret service agent with the bad guys who knew the protocol. The bad guys could of snatched the president earlier during the C-130 strike. They just decided to wait when the president gave the special “let them in” order.

    5: Addition: Cerebus was meant to take out the nukes in case they were launched. Cerebus would never DETONATE the nukes. That would defeat the point. Lets say a nuke was flying over. pennsylvania, or any state, the detonation would mean the underlying state would be covered in radiation. if Cerebus kicked in to protect or some other US locality, even the ocean, it would be chaos and mass death. They know how to disable the nukes. Would they seriously detonate it remotely in the air? Or would they disable it, detonate a small charge taking out the controls, or use cerebus to render the nuke useless?. Cerebus would disable the nuke, not detonate it.

  4. Henry L says:

    Why didn’t special forces/medics etc raid the white house once they thought everyone was dead? Oh maybe we’ll just wait in this cushy conference room while all the nukes blow up!

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