Gerard Butler stars as Mike Banning, a former Secret Service Operative and personal friend to the US President Benjamin Asher (played by Aaron Eckhart), who has been demoted to the Treasury Department but still within eye sight of The White House.
During a meeting between the President and Prime Minister of South Korea, North Korea-led forces mounts an attack upon the White House, with the President and several of his officials taken hostage in the process.
Banning’s loyalty to the President is put to the ultimate test – with previous failures at the forefront of his memory, Banning must do everything in his power to save the President, stop the terrorists from the destroying the White House and avert an even bigger oncoming disaster.
Lionsgate present this in a 1080p MPEG AVC encode that, if I’m being honest doesn’t look as sharp or defined to their usual releases. Don’t get me wrong, the presentation is by no means poor in the slightest, the definition is great and the picture does look very very good for what you would come to expect of a new release. Having said that, edges and details are greatly defined, you see the beads of sweat running down Butler’s face as he’s fighting his way through the White House. The film overall is largely dark in throughout, but the black levels are superb and all detail can be seen. Due to this, there aren’t many day time scenes, but the ones that there are nothing really pops off the screen, and there seems to be a more pasty feel to the lighter scenes. Blood plays a major part in the film, but because of the ‘dark’ nature of the movie being set inside the White House, it’s more of a very darkened tone of blood that doesn’t really stand out to what you would see from say an outdoor setting. For the grain fans out there, you’ll be pleased! There is light grain throughout the movie, but I found this added to the more intense tone of the film and gets you into the more ‘nitty gritty’ side of the action movie. Little to no motion blur which is always an added bonus.
Lionsgate bring only the one audio track on the table, which is a nice and meaty DTS-HD Master 5.1 track. This is a track that you expect this film to have, and it doesn’t let up from the off. All speakers are used to full effect, especially the sub. Your walls will shake with all of the gun-fire from the war ships or the White House lawn shoot out, with all the speakers getting a great workout really encasing you into the film making you feel like you’re there in the fight. Bullets fly from all around you showing how a good surround effect should be done. The actual score to the movie is never overpowering and suits the film well, with a good balance between this and the sound effects from everything going on around you. Dialogue is presented smoothly and not lost in the soundtrack at all, sounding as natural as it should.
Also on the disc are optional English subtitles.
All extras are presented in HD unless stated.
Blooper Reel (2:30 minutes)
The Epic Ensemble (7 minutes)
Under Surveillance: The Making of ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ (12 minutes)
Deconstructing the Black Hawk sequence (3:30 minutes)
Ground Combat: Fighting the terrorists (3 minutes)
Creating the Action: VFX and Design (7 minutes)
Whilst there is no commentary, which I always enjoy listening too, there are a healthy amount of extras here to keep fans happy. The blooper reel is the standard fun outtakes we are used to seeing now. The making of whilst short does give a little insight to the making of the movie, but this could’ve easily been much longer, and the rest of the featurettes really just flesh out what could’ve been a good feature length making-of.
As I always say, it would’ve been nice to have had the commentary with the director and Gerard Butler, as well as some on-screen interviews with Butler, Eckhart and Morgan Freeman to get their thoughts and views of the film. Not a great set of extras, but at the same time it’s not a bad set either.
I remember seeing the trailer for the movie thinking it looked a bit of a Die Hard rip-off but being the Action Junkie that I am, I had to go and see it. I came out of the cinema with the biggest grin on my face, and it was the same again this time round when watching it in the comfort of my own home.
Gerrard Butler takes the lead this time and when I watched the first trailer for the movie I didn’t know what to think especially being a big fan of the Die Hard franchise (I’ll take this time to say that the Die Hard franchise consists of three films; ‘Die Hard’, ‘Die Hard 2: Die Harder’ and ‘Die Hard With A Vengeance’, that is all) and this always stuck in the back of my mind that it was going to try and rip off Die Hard and be somewhat of a copycat movie. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn’t and was a fantastic action movie that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. Butler is great in the lead role, taking on the terrorists to rescue the President. He delivers some superb one liners in the film that had me laughing out loud and proves again that he is a good action movie star. I would like to see him in more films like this one. The supporting cast around him do a good job, and Eckhart makes for a good president, Freeman (whilst not really doing a great deal) adds to the cast list coming altogether to form a good solid movie.
I was pleased to see the film take a more serious route, rather than relying on comic-relief that so many action films seem to do these days. It has a serious and hard edge to it, which a lot of action films today seem to shy away from to get the oh-so-important 12A rating; this was a solid 15 and that does come across in the film. ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ certainly doesn’t disappoint on the violence or the swearing. Lots of blood, lots of gun fire, some good fist fights.
Whilst it’s not director’s Antioine Fuqua’s greatest work, it is one of the best action movies of the year that is going to be hard to beat. Yes, it is a cheesy 90’s throwback action movie, with over the top gun fights but what it does have is a more serious edged action movie with a great cast delivering some great action scenes, a good story and a very very good action movie.
The disc itself is a solid one with a good, but not perfect, video presentation, the audio track is superb and there are a decent set of extras to finish it off. As always, there could’ve been more for the extras as I have explained above but this is a good disc that does the film proud. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to watching this again.
Buy your copy from Amazon.co.uk
Or buy the Limited Edition Steelbook exclusively from Zavvi