The recent release of "Olympus Has Fallen" may be untimely considering the current political issues brewing with North Korea. Some might believe a conspiracy to destroy our nation actually exists, not making this gripping, action-packed film ideal for those weary in their faith of this country's power.
Betrayed by one of its own, the White House has fallen under attack. After being notified of a nearby aerial attack, the president (Aaron Eckhart), some of the cabinet members and the diplomat of South Korea go into the bunker, but the man believed to be with the diplomat is actually the ringleader of this act of terrorism. This ringleader wants to destroy the country by detonating its own nuclear missiles while they remain in their silos, structures that hold bulk material. To do that, all he needs are three private codes held exclusively by White House officials. As was planned by the corrupt secret service agent, the bunker becomes the main stage for the torturing of the hostages.
When the agent was exposed, his reason for helping the terrorist was because of the president's disappointing foreign policy and out-of-control spending. However, despite the operative's animosity toward the president, he relies on his naivety to set up the operation. After all, it was against protocol to let anyone other than the president's cabinet in the bunker.
Although the president is given credit for what happens in this country, it was his former guard, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), who brought salvation. When Banning heard of the attack, he infiltrated the White House in search of the president's son. As he slinks through hallways lined with collapsed bodies, he quickly realizes the severity of the situation: it is no longer just the little boy that needed saving, but the entire country.
Butler is a highly talented and experienced actor. He brings his sarcastic charm as seen in other films such as "The Bounty Hunter" and "The Ugly Truth." This time, he's only flirting with danger as he outwits the terrorist's soldiers, gaining the upper hand. Butler channels his inner warrior, a side of the man previously witnessed in the film "300," as he singlehandedly takes down several of the enemy. Deviating from the expected is what brings about the greatest change. Banning has no obligation or authority to step in, but his courageous actions saved the lives of millions of innocent people.
Another courageous character was Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan (Melissa Leo). McMillan is a spirited woman with no plans of giving up her code. This petite, frail woman puts up a serious fight against the enemy, refusing to relinquish the code even after receiving several devastating blows. Finally the president, fearing for her life, begs McMillan to comply and give the man what he wanted. Movie watchers will find themselves rooting for Leo, an actress with nearly 30 years of experience in front of the lens.
This movie is filled with selfless acts, but it shows the impact that just one person can make. It takes a strong person to be able to put him or herself in harm's way for the greater good and in this thrilling film it was for the good of the entire nation.
Butler's performance is phenomenal and stands out in the film. He outshines all of his cast members as he goes to great lengths to save his country, becoming the hero of the nation. "Olympus has Fallen" should definitely make it to everyone's list of must-see movies.