Month: June 2013

Olympus Has Fallen – Review

Part one of the 2013 White House takeovers comes in the form of Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen.

Gerard Butler plays Mike Banning; a former Presidential guard who finds himself fighting through the White House after a North Korean terrorist group overthrow the most secure building in the world.

President Benjamin Asher, played by Aaron Eckhart, is held hostage in the bunker of the White House, whilst Speaker Morgan Freeman steps in as acting commander-in-chief. With the assistance of Freeman and several other White House officials, Banning is left to seek out the whereabouts of the President and his son.

A number of character twists make Banning’s task a difficult one, but his inside knowledge and training means the North Korean terrorist group, lead by Rick Yune, have a tough obstacle to overcome should they achieve their target of nuclear warfare.

North Korea now seems to be the stereotypical go-to country when producing the concept of a terrorist film. But it must be questioned just how secure the most secure building in the world supposedly is to some. In this example, Olympus Has Fallen makes the White House out to be relatively simple to infiltrate and completely blitz. Big plane with guns and an undercover Korean, hopefully it doesn’t give them any ideas…

Many aspects of the film itself are also very sketchy. Elements of the special effects are questionable, especially for a film with a $70,000,000 budget. In addition, much of the dialogue is sleazy and cheap; best summed up by Butler’s line “Why don’t you and I play a game of go fuck yourself?”

Nevertheless, some of the action sequences are very engaging and there are plenty of them. Butler steals the show with his typical, no-mercy style hero, with a number of killing methods involving guns, knives and the simplicity of fists.

However, like many terrorist threatening flicks, too much attention is based on big explosions, gunshots and blood flying up walls. Olympus Has Fallen offers an entertaining watch, but nothing more than another Die Hard-like film.

Part Two of the 2013, “let’s attack the White House” saga comes from the simple titled, White House Down later this year and time will tell whether we see anything more than a repeat of its relatively mediocre rival.

4/10 #WebbersRatings

Man of Steel – Review

The much anticipated flight of Superman returned to our screens with all the ingredients needed to produce an epic hero flick. The combination of Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan at the helm alongside a strong cast meant high expectations surrounded the project.

Henry Cavill fills the red boots of the caped crusader, portraying the classic features of the hero. But throughout the film we see a different, more emotional side to Superman alongside Russell Crowe, his father, and his human parents Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. Unlike previous Superman films, Man of Steel gives a wider interest into Clark Kent’s background. Who is Superman? Where does he come from? Why is he here? And throughout we see a young Superman growing up and learning to deal with who he really is and the powers he possesses.

The film is almost structured into three parts. The first of which is concentrated in Krypton, Superman’s home planet as it faces extinction. Here we are thrown straight into war scenes with explosions, gun fires and fighting amongst everything that, as humans, we are not supposed to understand. Kal-El (the real name of Clark Kent) is sent to Earth for his safety initiating the second act of the film, and arguably the strongest as we are heavily engrossed with Superman growing up in human territory and later becoming the super hero himself. This brings the third act, which is full on explosions, buildings falling down and fighting – perhaps too much with Superman going up against Michael Shannon’s General Zod – both of whom share little weakness.

Man of Steel failed to reach my, and many other people’s expectations. The first act had too much of a fantasy, alien element considering Snyder’s comment that the film would be the most realistic. And on top of that, the third phase of the film was just constant explosions and noise. However the middle section of the film had plenty to enjoy and posed the most interesting outlook of Superman, making Man of Steel a good, but not a great film.

7/10 #WebbersRatings