“Olympus Has Fallen” fails to impress yet again with an intense-looking Gerard Butler as all that stands between terrorists and the president (Aaron Eckhart). In the red band clip below, Mike Banning (Butler), a disgraced Secret Service agent, takes on the role of John McClane without much of the “Yippee-ki-yay” pizzazz other than letting out an obligatory “Fuck!” As the terrorists take the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”), Butler, police and White House security fail to stop them from entering and kidnapping the president, apparently. While stuck in the White House, Banning becomes a one-man effort to recover the president from the kidnappers, eliciting groans from an audience who has seen these elements before and/or are waiting for a better version.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”) and written by first-time screenwriters Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, the film looks like an unpromising, albeit grittier, copycat of the upcoming “White House Down” starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Even with a cast rounded out by the likes of Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, and Ashley Judd, the film runs afoul of too many action film clichés (disgraced protagonist seeks redemption, a one-man cavalry charge, etc.) and that’s only from the trailers and clips. As much as I love Gerard Butler (watch “Dear Frankie” and you’ll understand), this is not the role for him at this or any point in his career. If, after watching the clip below, you want more, check out 10 other clips FilmDistrict released a week ago.