DVD review: Olympus Has Fallen

posted at 9:31 am on August 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself kicked out of the presidential protection detail after rescuing the President (Aaron Eckhart) from a car accident, but failing to get the First Lady (a cameo by Ashley Judd).  When a terrorist army seizes the White House, though, Banning runs to the firefight and finds himself in the middle of a global tug-of-war. Can Banning rescue the President’s son, free the President himself, and stop the terrorists before they turn America into a nuclear wasteland of famine and desperation?

Olympus Has Fallen had originally been on my list of films to see before my sudden assignment to Vatican City in March interrupted my mostly-regular cinema visits. Fortunately, the Blu-Ray/DVD was released about ten days ago.  Thanks to a week’s prep for a routine but rather unpleasant medical test (which turned out entirely fine), I didn’t get to the cinema this week either, and figured I’d catch up with this film.

The trailer promised action, and Olympus Has Fallen robustly delivers on that promise.   The action looks realistic, and the assault reasonably well planned enough to get over the massive suspension of disbelief it requires to have the audience buy the sacking of the White House.  Butler gives a good performance as a Special Forces-turned-Secret Service agent, and Rick Yune offers another as the malevolent terrorist leader Kang.  While certain aspects of the film are predictable, the execution is first-rate, and OHF keeps the audience riveted at all times.

The plot, however, has its problems.  Unfortunately, to discuss that, it’s necessary to reveal critical plot points, so anyone interested in that critical analysis should read past my final rating.  Otherwise, stop there. In this genre, plot holes really are secondary to action anyway, and the film is enjoyable enough that viewers will keep watching even while offering oh come ons with increasing frequency.

The film is well cast, but as with most action films, character development isn’t necessarily a priority.  Radha Mitchell plays Banning’s wife, but like the President’s son (Finley Jacobsen), she’s more of a plot device than a part of the story.  Michelle Leo makes the most of her role as Secretary of Defense, but Morgan Freeman seems a bit befuddled as the Speaker of the House who suddenly becomes acting President.  Angela Bassett mainly exists to assure everyone just how awesome Banning is.  Eckhart rises above the material as President, while Dylan McDermott plays against type as Forbes, Banning’s old colleague who has some interesting new friends.  Viewers will have a difficult time figuring out who anyone else is, especially the Vice President (Phil Austin), who is so inconsequential that you’re not sure if you’ve ever heard from him. Other than Kang, there isn’t an interesting character at all among the terrorists.

We can nit-pick the characters and the plot all day long, but the key question is this: Is Olympus Has Fallen entertaining?  The answer is a definite yes. Olympus Has Fallen is a good popcorn flick and a fun way to pass a couple of hours.  It’s not Hamlet, and it doesn’t try to be, either, nor is it an application for Mensa or an entrance exam for the Secret Service. It’s just fun, and a chance to root for the good guys. Get ready to cheer — but just don’t think too much about it when you do.

We can’t use the usual rating system for films already out of the theaters, so let’s use this:

  • 4 – Buy the Blu-Ray/DVD
  • 3 – Worth a rental price or pay-per-view
  • 2 – Wait for it to come on a TV channel you already get
  • 1 – Avoid at all costs

On that scale, Olympus Has Fallen earns a 3. There’s no reason to add it to your library, but the fun you’ll have is worth the cost of the rental or PPV.

Olympus Has Fallen is rated R for lots of violence and some realistic bad language.  It’s not for children or younger teens, as the violence is very realistic and gory at times.

If you’re interested in the plot issues, keep reading — otherwise, keep scrolling down to the comments.

 

 

 

 

Some spoilers below.

The plot of Olympus Has Fallen has enough holes to … well, to allow a terrorist army into the White House.  There are several, but let’s hit three of the biggest.

First, the terrorists have coordinated air and ground fire, strategically placed armored or large vehicles, heavy weapons, and what looks like a hundred people on the ground (the movie later says 40), along with the infiltrated terrorists in a South Korean diplomatic detachment.  That would take millions and millions of dollars, which might make sense if the villains came from the Middle East, but doesn’t if they’re from desperately impoverished North Korea — especially if, as the film implies, they don’t have any connection to the DPRK government. We wouldn’t catch wind of that kind of movement of assets?  Next, the Speaker of the House as acting President (Morgan Freeman) is willing to give up South Korea to save the life of the President and secure a “Cerberus” system that would render our ICBMs useless, but that’s hardly realistic.  We’re not going to trade South Korea and millions of deaths just to save a hostaged President.

Finally, the Cerberus system is supposed to be a super-secret nuclear fail-safe that allows the US to self-destruct an accidentally released nuclear ICBM, accessible only to the President and two other people.  I’d guess that we have self-destructs on a much lower level than that, but that’s not the real gaffe here.  Self-destructs by definition deal with blowing up rockets, not detonating the nuclear warheads, which would defeat the purpose of a self-destruct.  Nuclear warheads have to be armed for a purposeful launch, but would be unarmed and safed while sitting in the silos.  See here for a brief explanation of safing and arming. No one just leaves nukes armed, especially not the US, and nukes have to be detonated very precisely. An explosion underneath the device won’t do it.  Setting off the Cerberus system with ICBMs in the ground wouldn’t arm the warheads — a self-destruct fail-safe would hardly include that command — so blowing them up in the silos wouldn’t create a nuclear wasteland.  It would destroy the silos and kill a lot of people who work in and around them, and there could be some leakage of the nuclear material, but it wouldn’t produce the outcome the film seems to assume.  Whoever wrote this doesn’t have a good grasp of how nuclear weapons and self-destructs work, and apparently didn’t bother to find out.


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Ed, you could have kept this simple – just say if you’d rather have your colonoscopy (or whatever it was) – than see this movie. :)

22044 on August 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Not a DVD I would buy.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM

I saw it in the theater. I gave it a “Meh” rating, but I don’t much care for action flicks.

myiq2xu on August 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

They don’t make movies like they used to, that’s for sure.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself kicked out of the presidential protection detail after rescuing the President (Aaron Eckhart) from a car accident, but failing to get the First Lady

If that really happened, you know obozo would give the guy a medal and maybe even go full Filner and ask him out for dinner.

Flange on August 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

I loved it. So over the top in some areas but it was fun to watch. Watched it on PPV and may buy the DVD for those snowy Sunday afternoons in the future.

bopbottle on August 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

scary….that is the next dvd in our netflix queue…

cmsinaz on August 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Aaron Eckhart’s best performance was in the film adaptation of Christopher Buckley’s Thank You For Smoking where he portrayed Nick Naylor.

Murphy9 on August 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I watched it last night with the missus.
It was definitely worth the rental fee.

justltl on August 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

scary….that is the next dvd in our netflix queue…

cmsinaz on August 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I’m itching to see Kick Ass 2. Hit Girl is the bomb, far as heroes and anti-heroes go.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Loosely based on the Benghazi incident?

BL@KBIRD on August 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

that is on the list as well…

cmsinaz on August 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

The majority watches this type of movie to be entertained and this delivers. On the other hand not enough of us look to the real life Washington
realizing it takes a “massive suspension of disbelief” to accept what is happening there.

oldernwiser on August 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Aaron Eckhart’s best performance was in the film adaptation of Christopher Buckley’s Thank You For Smoking where he portrayed Nick Naylor.

Murphy9 on August 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I agree – +1

22044 on August 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

that is on the list as well…

cmsinaz on August 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Let me know how you liked it, would you? I buy my DVD’s used, so it’s going to be a while before I can get the movie. Kick Ass was great! Just a dumb pointless film, to be sure, like Scott Pilgrim vs The World.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

This is Deeeeeeeee Ceeeeeeeeeee!

rightside on August 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

The movie was ridiculously unbelievable.

Ronnie on August 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

will do

cmsinaz on August 25, 2013 at 9:51 AM

cmsinaz on August 25, 2013 at 9:51 AM

I’ve seen a few clips of Kick Ass 2. It looks good, far as ‘good’ can go with a silly movie. I’m a big fan of MST3K, too.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

One appealing aspect of the movie was that it wasn’t frustrating. The protagonist didn’t come “this close” to accomplishing something only to have something idiotic happen to sabotage it. He sets out to do something, and it gets done. Satisfying.

justltl on August 25, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Olympus has Fallen is most definitely worth a rental.

CW on August 25, 2013 at 9:57 AM

I thought Eckhart was awesome in Battle: Los Angeles, where he pretty much states it was a love letter to the Marine Corpse.

Kick Ass 2 was a great companion to the first.

Darksean on August 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Aaron Eckhart’s best performance was in the film adaptation of Christopher Buckley’s Thank You For Smoking where he portrayed Nick Naylor.

Murphy9 on August 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I agree – +1

22044 on August 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I haven’t seen that, but Eckhart was great in THE DARK KNIGHT. It was actually that film’s best performance, but he was overlooked because everyone was focusing on what’s-his-name (who died of a drug overdose) as the Joker.

SagebrushPuppet on August 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Olympus has Fallen is most definitely worth a rental.

CW on August 25, 2013 at 9:57 AM

I just can’t get into modern actors. Too much glam for me, in the ‘news’ about them.

For example, Yahoo! was going nuts all the time about Kim Kardashian’s baby bump.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Kick Ass 2 was a great companion to the first.

Darksean on August 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM

You saw it? Make me jealous, why don’t you? :-)

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 10:02 AM

We’re not going to trade South Korea and millions of deaths just to save a hostaged President.

WE WOULD IF IT WERE OBAMA!!!!!11!!!!!eleventy!!
–any run-of-the-mill liberal

SagebrushPuppet on August 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I thought it was like “Die Hard” without Bruce Willis.

yippee ki yay

MaxSplinters on August 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I liked the movie. sure it had some holes but all and all it was a very good movie. If Freeman would have kept his mouth shut I might have went to see it at the theater. But the way they ran the advertisments they tried to make it seem like an “obama” movie.

spoiler@

that being said my two biggest problems were the countdown at the end. It’s become a joke. I would love to see the countdown stopped at 20 minutes to go or something.

the other problem was the POTUs telling them to give up the codes esp when he didn’t know where his son was. No one should order such a thing and since he cared more about 2 people then the country I thought he failed as a POTUS.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The fact, you can Lawrenc O’Donnell on the voiceover in the commercial, just puts me right off.

narciso on August 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

I thought it was like “Die Hard” without Bruce Willis.

yippee ki yay

MaxSplinters on August 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

yeap thought the samething. Esp when he wa ssitting there talking to his wife.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

The movie was ridiculously unbelievable.

Ronnie on August 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Agreed, but it could have been worse. Like, say, if it were a film about some anti-American, communist, bigot with no record of his past becoming President, spending four years ruining the country and gets elected for four more years in order to finish the job. Now that would be ridiculously unbelievable.

justltl on August 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Butler gives a good performance as a Special Forces-turned-Secret Service agent,

I agree. Butler did a great job with and in this role. The plot, you’re right, too, was troubled, but the overall film is well worth seeing. I watched it twice.

My only complaints with it were that I found it very, very difficult to believe that the US could be *that* intensely invaded without a hearty counter-attack by US forces.

But, it’s a movie.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:09 AM

The fact, you can Lawrenc O’Donnell on the voiceover in the commercial, just puts me right off.

narciso on August 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

yeah that and some of th eother things I had heard aboutt he movie put me off from watching it. But after watching it I can say they did a pretty good job of keeping the politics out of the movie.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I thought it was like “Die Hard” without Bruce Willis.

yippee ki yay

MaxSplinters on August 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

As to plot, yes, but there’s a big difference in how Bruce Willis enacts characters from how Butler does.

Willis always gets in those quick smirks and brief “this is soooo stupid” looks if not utterances while Butler plays his aggressive characters stone-cold-hard-steely, which is actually more realistic.

Though I still like Bruce Willis, just saying, there’s no comparison between how the two perform and view these aggressive-alpha-male roles.

Imagining Butler in DIE HARD: …I could herein list a whole range of differences in every scene with Butler as Maclane compared with what Willis did with that role.

I love the first DIE HARD, by the way, because of Willis’ work but I’m just saying, he and Butler are hugely different performers.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM

My only complaints with it were that I found it very, very difficult to believe that the US could be *that* intensely invaded without a hearty counter-attack by US forces.

But, it’s a movie.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:09 AM

…with the current Producer… running the country?

KOOLAID2 on August 25, 2013 at 10:16 AM

I enjoyed it. Plot holes were a little bit distracting, but the action was great and the pacing was excellent.

Speaking of Kick Ass 2, I enjoyed that as well. Not quite as epic as the first, but still a lot of fun. Hit Girl especially was great.

SAZMD on August 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM

anyone else think the Sec of Defense was suppose to be Hillary?

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Anyone ever notice the trolls never get in on the ‘fun’ threads?

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Murphy9 on August 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I agree – +1

22044 on August 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I haven’t seen that, but Eckhart was great in THE DARK KNIGHT. It was actually that film’s best performance, but he was overlooked because everyone was focusing on what’s-his-name (who died of a drug overdose) as the Joker.

SagebrushPuppet on August 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Aaron Echart http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001173/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 is one of the most underrated actors among them all. I love him onscreen in a variety of roles and agree he was outstanding in THE DARK KNIGHT. He’s a very talented guy…

My favorite role of his was/is “Ssgt. Michael Nantz” in BATTLE FOR LOS ANGELES http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217613/. He did a great job with that action/hero role, entirely credible in the combat action that runs nearly start to end in that film.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Ed, you could have kept this simple – just say if you’d rather have your colonoscopy (or whatever it was) – than see this movie. :)

22044 on August 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM

So far, that measure only applies to one film this year, and ironically, it’s The Purge.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

And yes, it was a colonoscopy. It’s the hey-you’ve-turned-50 test.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Aaron Echart
Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

TYPO…

S/b “Aaron Eckhart” http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001173/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Anyone else notice that the First lady died because of wearing a seatbelt. don’t know how that got through the liberal hollywood PC filters.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

anyone else think the Sec of Defense was suppose to be Hillary?

That female actor in that role in OLYMPUS… didn’t translate to me as a version of Hillary Clinton. Hillary wldn’t been giggling and snorting sarcastically and offering to “deal” with the terrorists while the actress in OLYMPUS was credibly horrified and pained in her torture scenes (these were the least favored by me as a viewer, I must say, either the actress was too realistic in her responses or I’m a lot softer in my emotional core than I readily admit).

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:26 AM

“Aaron Eckhart” Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

not thrilled with his performace in this movie. Came off as kind of a whimp and clueless about protecting classified information.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

And yes, it was a colonoscopy. It’s the hey-you’ve-turned-50 test.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Ouch!

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

So far, that measure only applies to one film this year, and ironically, it’s The Purge.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

And yes, it was a colonoscopy. It’s the hey-you’ve-turned-50 test.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Heh – glad to see that report, that the movie pickings have generally been good. :)

22044 on August 25, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Agreed, but it could have been worse. Like, say, if it were a film about some anti-American, communist, bigot with no record of his past becoming President, spending four years ruining the country and gets elected for four more years in order to finish the job. Now that would be ridiculously unbelievable.

justltl on August 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Thread winner, for sure.

Cleombrotus on August 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM

these were the least favored by me as a viewer, I must say, either the actress was too realistic in her responses or I’m a lot softer in my emotional core than I readily admit).

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:26 AM

yeah never like to see a woman beaten like that. I don’t know for some reason when I saw it, I just thought this character is what hollywood thinks hillary would do.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM

“Aaron Eckhart” Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

not thrilled with his performace in this movie. Came off as kind of a whimp and clueless about protecting classified information.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Agreed as to this role in this film but it wasn’t the actor’s (Eckhart’s) failing, it was the failing of the script and director to limit that character (actor Eckhart performing Mr.President in OLYMPUS…) as they did. Actor’s can use roles to expand evocation of what’s written but ultimately they can’t or don’t “create” material that isn’t already scripted as to their roles.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Typos galore this morning, arghh…

Actor’s can use roles
Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM

S/b “Actors can use roles…”

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

The movie was ridiculously unbelievable.

Ronnie on August 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

I know what you mean. You should try Independence Day.
/

Get a grip.

CW on August 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Aaron Eckhart’s best performance was in the film adaptation of Christopher Buckley’s Thank You For Smoking where he portrayed Nick Naylor.

Murphy9 on August 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I agree – +1

22044 on August 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

+1 me too. Good movie.

Haven’t seen Olympus yet…but seems most here like it well enough. Character development, or lack thereof, was one of the main reasons I was disappointed with Europa Report. And Prometheus as well.

JetBoy on August 25, 2013 at 10:35 AM

“Aaron Eckhart” Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

not thrilled with his performace in this movie. Came off as kind of a whimp and clueless about protecting classified information.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Art mirrors reality.

JetBoy on August 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Whoever wrote this doesn’t have a good grasp of how nuclear weapons and self-destructs work, and apparently didn’t bother to find out.

That would be just about anyone in Hollywood.

NotCoach on August 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Whoever wrote this doesn’t have a good grasp of how nuclear weapons and self-destructs work, and apparently didn’t bother to find out.

No to worry. Some low-info voters will see the film, then write their Congressman demanding the dismantling of all nuclear weapons as the fail-safe system is a national suicide waiting to happen.

GarandFan on August 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM

true maybe it was more the script for him then his acting. I don’t know just wasn’t thrilled with the character.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Art mirrors reality.

JetBoy on August 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

that gave me a chuckle. good point.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

That female actor in that role in OLYMPUS… didn’t translate to me as a version of Hillary Clinton. Hillary wldn’t been giggling and snorting sarcastically and offering to “deal” with the terrorists while the actress in OLYMPUS was credibly horrified and pained in her torture scenes (these were the least favored by me as a viewer, I must say, either the actress was too realistic in her responses or I’m a lot softer in my emotional core than I readily admit).

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:26 AM

That female actor http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0502425/?ref_=tt_cl_t8 looks entirely nicer in her professional profile there on IMBD (link) while her appearance is awful in both OLYMPUS and in OBLIVION http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1483013/, which I recently saw (if you haven’t seen it, she plays the evil alien overlord masked as the friendly guide to the Earth survivor-workers).

I was surprised to view her IMDB profile pix after seeing her in OLYMPUS and OBLIVION in which roles, both, she’s rather gruesome in appearance.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Art mirrors reality.

JetBoy on August 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Not really. Starts out in a boxing ring between him and his Secret Service guy.

Can you see our current pantywaist-in-chief in that scenario? I doubt if that punk was ever in a fistfight.

Cleombrotus on August 25, 2013 at 10:41 AM

To piggyback on what you’re saying, Ed, while the movie was a fun action flick, it did require a suspension of disbelief even more ridiculous than watching the trained former WW1 soldier characters of Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling fire guns like they’d never held them in their lives in Gangster Squad.

SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

——————————————————-

Okay, so we have a program like Cerberus…but no duress code? Not buying it.

Also, watching men stream out of the White House’s front door to get mowed down by a torrential downpour of high-caliber fire in an utterly incompetent manner? I haven’t seen idiocy this grand in an action movie, EVER, and it rather soured much of the experience for me. I did get to stare at Radha Mitchell a few times for my trouble, however.

mintycrys on August 25, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM

true maybe it was more the script for him then his acting. I don’t know just wasn’t thrilled with the character.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

I agree, that role wasn’t well developed but perhaps that’s what the script was going for to emphasize Gerard Butler’s “alpha” role. In which case it wasn’t entirely successful because it just made “the President” look a bit two-dimensional.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:43 AM

…so we have a program like Cerberus…but no duress code? Not buying it.

Also, watching men stream out of the White House’s front door to get mowed down by a torrential downpour of high-caliber fire in an utterly incompetent manner? I haven’t seen idiocy this grand in an action movie, EVER…

mintycrys on August 25, 2013 at 10:42 AM

I agree. Like I wrote upstream here in comments, I couldn’t “suspend disbelief” that the US would be so ineptly secured as it appeared in this film. Though the film is good and I enjoyed it, mainly due to Butler’s character, “Mike Banning,” http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0365943/?ref_=tt_cl_t1 and all the action. But the ineptitude of US security in the film was too much to take seriously for me as viewer.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

And yes, it was a colonoscopy. It’s the hey-you’ve-turned-50 test.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Ugh. I’m coming up on that in a couple of years.

Why does getting older seem to be so frickin’ painful?

nukemhill on August 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Many people who read Vince Flynn’s books were well aware some of the Olympus Has Fallen plot was stolen from his book “Transfer of Power”. I followed Flynn on Facebook and he wrote a rather gracious post about it, without revealing he was just mere weeks from death. Flynn wrote such accurate details in his books that the feds had to clear them before publication and the CIA uses them for training. I highly recommend his books if you haven’t read them.

Best-selling thriller author Brad Thor claims that Hollywood stole the plot of one of the books by late thriller author Vince Flynn and used it for a couple of films.

“I was not happy when I saw two movies come out almost back to back: ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ and ‘White House Down,’” Thor said at a public interview last week at the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C. “And that is Vince’s book ‘Transfer of Power.’”

GrannySunni on August 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Okay, I rented it but bluray was out. Anyway, if it sucks, you all owe me $1.63.

Blake on August 25, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Okay, I rented it but bluray was out. Anyway, if it sucks, you all owe me $1.63.

Blake on August 25, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Better to owe you than gyp you out of it.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 10:56 AM

And yes, it was a colonoscopy. It’s the hey-you’ve-turned-50 test.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Ugh. I’m coming up on that in a couple of years.

Why does getting older seem to be so frickin’ painful?

nukemhill on August 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Mine wasn’t painful; I was sedated.

The prep wasn’t much fun, though.

Glad to hear it went well, Ed!

SagebrushPuppet on August 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, Liam Neeson, Daniel Craig, Will Smith………

No matter what the role, I always think its the actor playing himself.

PappyD61 on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

nukemhill on August 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

SagebrushPuppet on August 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM

I was also sedated. The procedure wasn’t painful, but it was uncomfortable at times. The IV stick was the most painful part of the day. The several days of prep are definitely the worst part of it.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Why does getting older seem to be so frickin’ painful?

nukemhill on August 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Proper diet, lots of exercise, and Christian faith. Works wonders.

Cleombrotus on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, Liam Neeson, Daniel Craig, Will Smith………

No matter what the role, I always think its the actor playing himself.

PappyD61 on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Can you imagine making a living by being someone else?

I couldn’t do it.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Proper diet, lots of exercise, and Christian faith. Works wonders.

Cleombrotus on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

And cuddling with beautiful women. Can’t drop that from the equation.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I know what you mean.

CW on August 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Apparently not.

Ronnie on August 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Anyone ever notice the trolls never get in on the ‘fun’ threads?

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Our trolls aren’t paid to have fun.

trigon on August 25, 2013 at 11:12 AM

PappyD61 on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Can you imagine making a living by being someone else?

I couldn’t do it.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

It’s working for a living…

The best actors have that blue-collar approach to their work and it usually makes them more popular onscreen in their roles, like with Harrison Ford and the late James Gandolfini, both of whom say “it’s (their) job (as in, what they do for a living)”.

The one aspect to acting that I find most challenging is how individual actors maintain character when interacting with other actors in other roles. I mean, how not to break out laughing or something during interactive dialogue…how not to break character seems to be the biggest challenge.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Our trolls aren’t paid to have fun.

trigon on August 25, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Sad, isn’t it?

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I was also sedated. The procedure wasn’t painful, but it was uncomfortable at times. The IV stick was the most painful part of the day. The several days of prep are definitely the worst part of it.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Several day? Yikes!

I think my prep was only the day before, and I’m really glad I don’t have to do that again for another nine or so years.

(I’m really revealing more than I normally would about myself here.)

SagebrushPuppet on August 25, 2013 at 11:14 AM

And cuddling with A beautiful women woman. Can’t drop that from the equation.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Some of us learned our lessons early on. The hard way, perhaps, but we learned them.

Cleombrotus on August 25, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I mean, how not to break out laughing or something during interactive dialogue…how not to break character seems to be the biggest challenge.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 11:13 AM

some of the funniest comedy was on the carrol Burnett show when Tim conway and ?Kaufman? would start laughing at each other’s characters.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Art mirrors reality.

JetBoy on August 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

It can.

But then it can also reflect the exact opposite of reality, so… cliches are kind of stupid sometimes.

Midas on August 25, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Funny, I watched this last night. The plot holes are annoying and it’s hard to imagine our security would be quite that inept. Still, I enjoyed it as the shoot-em-up I figure it was intended to be. There are worse ways to spend an evening.

Friday night’s film was ‘Hysteria’. If any of you haven’t seen it, it was pretty funny and, I’d say, better than OHF. Odd subject matter, well handled.

trigon on August 25, 2013 at 11:18 AM

The one aspect to acting that I find most challenging is how individual actors maintain character when interacting with other actors in other roles. I mean, how not to break out laughing or something during interactive dialogue…how not to break character seems to be the biggest challenge.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I can’t get over Jim Parsons as Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. How he keeps straight face in his role is beyond me.

Judd Nelson allegedly stayed in character even off set while filming The Breakfast Club. If the urban legend is trie, he almost got fired for it.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, Liam Neeson, Daniel Craig, Will Smith………

No matter what the role, I always think its the actor playing himself.

PappyD61 on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Yeah, there’s a difference in people like that who are, imo, simply being themselves (maybe even with an accent!), and ‘actors’ – folks like Daniel Day Lewis, for example.

Midas on August 25, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Art mirrors reality.

JetBoy on August 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Worse, reality sometimes mirrors art.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:20 AM

some of the funniest comedy was on the carrol Burnett show when Tim conway and ?Kaufman? would start laughing at each other’s characters.

unseen on August 25, 2013 at 11:15 AM

*Yes*.

That was some funny stuff, when they’re even cracking each other up, lol.

Midas on August 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM

screw morgan freeman, I will actively avoid anything he is in if possible.

dmacleo on August 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I can’t get over Jim Parsons as Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. How he keeps straight face in his role is beyond me.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Big Bang Theory is the only thing on network TV that I watch. Parsons is a genius. I suspect it may end up being the last ‘great’ sitcom produced, Being up there with Barney Miller, Taxi and some others. Maybe a notch below Seinfeld and Cheers.

trigon on August 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM

I stopped watching this movie about 20 minutes in, as the set-up seemed too unrealistic.

blue13326 on August 25, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Big Bang Theory is the only thing on network TV that I watch. Parsons is a genius. I suspect it may end up being the last ‘great’ sitcom produced, Being up there with Barney Miller, Taxi and some others. Maybe a notch below Seinfeld and Cheers.

trigon on August 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Do you know Parsons just turned 40?

I hate the character; I’d love bytch-slapping Sheldon.

But Parsons does it so well.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:30 AM

…Judd Nelson allegedly stayed in character even off set while filming The Breakfast Club. If the urban legend is trie, he almost got fired for it.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

I heard a similar story about the late Charlton Heston, who was notorious for “staying in character” even before production began (in pre-production) and all the way through the filming. How he’d walk around at home in full costume as Moses when THE TEN COMMANDMENTS was in production. And actor Michael Douglas has told similar tales about his father, Kirk Douglas, how Kirk Douglas would stay in character during SPARTACUS, walk around the home area in costume and character and Michael Douglas, a teen at that time, would have to deal with it with friends who were over, around the pool, etc.

Must of been an experience, is all I can say. The classic one to me is the Heston role as Moses, can’t imagine what it’d been like to have been married to the guy-who-was-Moses.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 11:33 AM

screw morgan freeman, I will actively avoid anything he is in if possible.

dmacleo on August 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Yeah, even aside from his offensive politics, he as an actor is horribly over-exposed. I think we the people have heard more than enough of Morgan Freeman as God, as Narrator, as reader of science notes posing as authority, as President, as Senate Majority, as…

He’s just entirely over-exposed in media. Too much of Morgan Freeman.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, Liam Neeson, Daniel Craig, Will Smith………

No matter what the role, I always think its the actor playing himself.

PappyD61 on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

You forgot Mel Gibson.

Cleombrotus on August 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Must of been an experience, is all I can say. The classic one to me is the Heston role as Moses, can’t imagine what it’d been like to have been married to the guy-who-was-Moses.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 11:33 AM

I can’t be an actor because I don’t want to make a living by being someone, by being a fictional character.

I also can’t be a lawyer, because I don’t want to making a living by arguing all the time.

Liam on August 25, 2013 at 11:38 AM

‘Olympus Has Fallen’ may have big plot holes, but it least it doesn’t have Channing Tatum doing donuts on the White House lawn in a limo, with the preezie’s head out the window with an RPG, trying to blow a hole in the White House fence. Yeah, that was actually in ‘White House Down’. Compared to WHD, OHF _does_ rank up there with Hamlet.

Timothy S. Carlson on August 25, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Channing Tatum doing donuts on the White House lawn in a limo

Is that considered an endorsement for Chris Christie?

Flange on August 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

So its like “Air Force One” but on the ground…

JR on August 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

So its like “Air Force One” but on the ground…

JR on August 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Good analogy. Except in AFOne, the Prez., performed by Harrison Ford, actually had three dimensions.

Still, it’s a good analogy, the two films have similar story failures and successes.

Lourdes on August 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Who are the “terrorists”? Islamics? No? Not seeing it then.

rrpjr on August 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

It was a decent action flick. Better than I expected. I was a little surprised that the bridge drowning of the presidents wife wasn’t later linked to the attack in some way.

sharrukin on August 25, 2013 at 12:18 PM

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