LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV 11 Film Critic Jonathan Nettles talks about the action-packed movie Olympus Has Fallen.
I think it's clear that video games in some form are now a part of our lives. Yes, I'm including "Words with Friends" or whatever games we play on our iPhones, iPads, Xboxes, & Playstations. Some of these games have plot lines that delve into some real fears, particularly fears over war. That's what Olympus has Fallen manages to accomplish.
Olympus Has Fallen has a slew of recognizable faces in it but our hero is played by Gerard Butler. Butler plays Mike Banning, who starts off the film as the President's main bodyguard. You can probably guess that tragedy strikes and Banning is taken off of the President's detail. Eighteen months later, Banning is apparently struggling with the aftermath of the tragedy and misses his old job.
As he's reminiscing, a Korean motorcade arrives at the White House. The motorcade has the South Korean Prime Minister and a slew of his aides and bodyguards who may not have the best intentions. Also while this is happening, a C-130 is flying up the Chesapeake Bay.
We soon learn the intentions of the rogue C-130 as it opens fire on the White House and areas leading up to and around it. The Secret Service agents go into action, following protocol they take the President and (against protocol but in accordance with the President's wishes) the South Korean visitors with them to an impenetrable underground bunker.
This is where the fun really starts as we soon learn the true nature of the South Koreans (turns out they're actually North Korean terrorists who have infiltrated the envoy) and the White House is invaded by more of their comrades. The bad guys know all the procedures of the Secret Service and the response time of the military so they're well prepared and put the White House on lockdown after killing all of the Secret Service agents and military personnel on the grounds.
There is one survivor, Mike Banning. He spends the rest of the movie kicking North Korean tail and trying to stop them from carrying out their plot which could lead to nuclear war.
Olympus Has Fallen played out like a plot from one of the Call of Duty videogames. I play it from time to time and it's the first things I thought of when the North Korean attacked. I wonder if the writers of Olympus first pitched it the game makers. There's also a strong hint of Die Hard in this film. Many times I thought to myself that this should have been the latest Bruce Willis as John McClain actioner.
The movie is rated "R" for violence and language. It's very violent and the F-word is used throughout the entire film. Despite feeling like I had played this level on the Xbox it was still a fun, action film to watch. The movie takes place on July 5th, which makes me wonder if it was originally slated for a summer release but I think it's better that this one not get lost in the blockbusters. Even though it's clearly for the male audience, it's got Gerard Butler and ladies like to look at Gerard Butler. It's also got Aaron Eckhart as the President, Angela Bassett as the Secret Service Director, Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House, Ashley Judd as the First Lady, Dylan McDermott, Melissa Leo, Rick Yune, and a bunch of other recognizable faces.
Also this week, Admission stars the more-often-funny-than-not Tina Fey as a Princeton admissions officer who while evaluating thousands of applicants and turning down most of them that takes a professional risk by visiting an alternative school run by the-guy-you-always-root-for Paul Rudd and encounters a young man who could be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption. From that synopsis, it sounds like a Lifetime Network Movie of the week but it's been promoted as a comedy, I have a feeling it's not so much ha-ha comedy as it is dramatic comedy.
Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, and Gloris Leachman provide the voices for The Croods; an animated comedy about a family of cavepeople as they embark on the journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always served as their home is destroyed. Traveling across a dangerous landscape, the Croods discover and incredible world filled with adventure. This is a picture from Dreamworks animation which are usually pretty solid, not always groundbreaking, but generally solid family fun.
Now for the one that has people talking Spring Breakers is the tale of four friends who live a boring college dorm life but hungry for adventure. A spring break trip seems to be the answer to their problems and to fund their trip they go on a crime spree. When they land in jail, they get bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to go a little deeper into the criminal world. Two of the Spring Breakers are played by Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez; both of which are still trying to break out of the good girl image. Hudgens has already done some work in that are but Gomez is taking a major leap with this film. The drug dealer is played by James Franco who has been in nearly 30 films since 2010.