Since 300, Gerard Butler has failed to impress me. I'm sorry if you don't agree but he always seemed under valued as a true action movie candidate, destined for the big time. Fair enough - there was moments of stardom including RocknRolla, Law Abiding Citizen and Gamer but on the whole - he has turned his arm more to a rom-com genre with a few beat em' ups along the way - well, Olympus Has Fallen certainly puts and end top that.
Butler plays Mike Banning - an ex- Secret Service senior tasked with the Top Job - Presidential Protection and seemingly is getting on fine until a freak accident leaves the 1st lady dead (car crash) and Banning bumped down to a desk job, albeit still in touch with his co-workers and ex-boss on a conversational & friendship level.
The movie gathers pace quickly as the White House plays host to a Korean ambassador who, unbeknown to him - has a secret band of terrorists in his ranks who are hell bent on a White House Take down - with dramatic consequences. Their plight - to have U.S forces stand down their protection of the south Korean borders, something the president is unwilling to do - even at the threat of his life and those of his cabinet.
Butler - knowing the White House layout to a tee manages to infiltrate the defences, remarkably taken down within 15 minutes by a well planned and devilishly brutal attack sequence from the Korean forces that will leave the most action hardy of you screaming for more! and Butler continues to personally take down the bad guys 1 by 1 until the gripping finale that sees good obviously overcome!
And that's about it really. It's a fast paced, fully fuelled action romp that as one of my friends stated - could easily have been titled 'Under Siege 3', purely due to the wrong place / right time scenario previously seen from Steven Segal in parts 1 & 2. Although to his credit, Butler is by far the better actor.
Everyone shines - Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Rick Yune, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and special recognition to Melissa Leo - who's part as the female Secretary of Defence really does command respect as her character shows a complete 'we do not negotiate with terrorists' approach - even after getting absolutely beaten senseless but the infiltrators - a brilliant role, excellently cast and played.
As for everything else - well this is one of the best action movies I've ever seen. I know it cant be compared to legendary movies like the early Die Hard's or Schwarzenegger outings but of recent times at least - this one is right up there - a definite DVD purchase me thinks!