ABC Film Challenge – Action – O – Olympus Has Fallen (2013) Movie Review

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Writer: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Rick Yune, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Dylan McDermott, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell

Plot: Disgraced Secret Service agent (and former presidential guard) Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers.

Tagline – When our flag falls our nation will rise. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Action-Packed Thriller

Story: Olympus Has Fallen starts after disgraced secret service agent Mike Banning (Butler) has found an office job near the White House after failing to save President Benjamin Asher’s (Eckhart) wife after an accident. With the President holding talks with the South Korean Prime Minister, Washington comes under attack with the President finding safety is the bunker, only to learn known terrorist Kang (Yune) has been planning this attack for a long time.

Mike Banning finds his way into a battered White House to help save the President’s son first before looking to rescue the President with his only communication being from the current leaders of the country, can he save the day from this ruthless terrorist.

Thoughts on Olympus Has Fallen

Characters – Mike Banning was once the President’s closest friend in the secret service, the one his trust, he lost this trust after an accident sees Mike choosing to save the President over his wife (even though that is his job). He is left disgraced, but always ready to protect his country and his president, which he will have to do today, showing off all of his military training to take on the full army of enemies stood in his way. Mike is clearly designed to be like John McClane too, with how he goes about dealing with the enemies. President Benjamin Asher is a much-loved President, he is looking to help South Korea with the problem they are facing from the North only to find himself held captive, he doesn’t want to see his team injured or killed, forcing them to help give away the codes Kang wants, trying to prove America won’t negotiate with terrorists. Kang is the terrorist that has been known to the world by name, never face, until today, he takes over the White House with his men and wants the President to help him withdraw forces in the oceans around South Korea, he isn’t afraid to kill people to get what he wants and will make the President watch too. Speaker Trumbull takes control of the country with the President and Vice-President held captive, he must help make the difficult decisions which could see people killed.

PerformancesGerard Butler is intense as the action hero, we know he is always going to be strong in these type of films and here is no different. Aaron Eckhart as the president is always going to be a good choice because he does have a calming presence which we saw in places during The Dark Knight. Rick Yune as the villain is strong showing his cold side through the film, while Morgan Freeman does lead a strong cast through the table of power.

StoryThe story here follows a disgraced secret service agent that will get the chance to redeem his name after the President is taken hostage in the White House by a terrorist. This is a pure action film, it does everything that we saw in the likes of Die Hard, with one man needing to do everything he can to save the hostage, which just so happens to be the President. We don’t get many twists or turns along the way, with everything just being what we need to keep us guessing to what will happen next, because we know Mike isn’t going to be losing along the way. The side of the story which does shine, comes from just how deadly the terrorists are by how many people they are willing to kill.

Action The action in the film does include large scale destruction with bodies flying everywhere, we do calm this down with a much more scaled down approach within the walls, but this is still showing us how good Butler is at action.

SettingsThe film is set in the White House, one of the safest places and hardest to break into, this does help show how dangerous this situation has become because the people being held hostage have the power to destroy the world.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the special effects, this could well be the weakest part of the film because we see a clearly CGI attack happening from the outset, which looks like it has dated badly.

Scene of the Movie – The attack might well have CGI issues, but the scale is brilliant.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Seems too easy to pull off.

Final Thoughts This is a pure fun action movie that easily knows what it is, with it being action packed fun, it is one man verses an army which is all we need at times.

Overall: Big action spectacle.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourite Films – C – The Conjuring (2013)

ABC Film Challenge

Favourite Films


The Conjuring

Why I’ve Picked this choice – The Conjuring was the first instalment of the Warren movies, showing the story of the paranormal investigators that solves cases from all over the world, with the most famous being the Annabelle doll, we only get a fleeting visit to how the couple get the doll itself, with the story having focus elsewhere. The Warren’s are asked to help with a new case about a farmhouse with a new family moved in, that soon start getting haunting events. Where the haunting start tame and become more dangerous as the film unfolds. While the Warren’s are always dealing with the ideas of how the media report about them and their work. We do have some excellent scare moments, showing James Wan is easily one of the best horror directors in the business. The hand clapping the light out and the demon in the hand mirror are two of the great moments in the film.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

logoDirector: Don Scardino

Writer: Jonathan M Goldstein, John Francis Daley (Screenplay) Chad Kultgen, Tyler Mitchell, Jonathan M Goldstein, John Francis Daley (Story)

Starring: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin, Jay Mohr


Plot: A veteran Vegas magician tries to revive his career after his longtime partner quits, he gets fired from his casino act, and an edgy new “street magician” steals his thunder.


Verdict: Magical fun?


Story: We start by following our young Burt Wonderstone as he deals with school bullies, neglectful parent and meeting his partner as he gets his first magic kit. We fast forward till when they are hits in Vegas with their partnership shining through all their hard work. After ten years of doing the same show over and over their friendship is wearing thin. When a new street magician comes along with his new era of magic the two friends have to start upping their game by embracing the new era of magic and give up their old act. After their big act goes horribly wrong the friendship ends but Burt wants to continue his act as a solo artist. After Burt’s career hits rock bottom he tries everything to make his comeback.

This story has a very real look at how the magic scene has been changing over recent years, it looks at how the pure magic show has become out dated with the new edgy magic. We also look at how you should be respecting the people who opened the door to a talent. This all comes together to make an original idea even if it plays out like something we have already seen. It lets the comedic actors do what the fans of theirs will enjoy but in the end doesn’t let them show off all their skills. (6/10)


Actor Review


Steve Carell: Burt Wonderstone magician who is so caught up in his own success and after a new magician becomes an overnight sensation Burt has to learn to cope with the new era of magic. This gives Steve the basic for him to use his comic skills but he never really goes anywhere original. (6/10)


Steve Buscemi: Anton Marvelton partner with Burt who is the man behind the tricks but after the friends go their separate ways he tries to help the world. Steve shows that he can fit into many different types of roles and his comic timing as an awkward character always comes off. (7/10)


Olivia Wilde: Jane dragged into becoming the assistant of the pair and has to overcome her stage fright to but still feels out of place on stage with the act. Olivia continues her rise as a constant solid supporting actress. (7/10)


Jim Carrey: Steve Gray new street magician whose new extreme magic changes the game in the business, but his over the top tricks will push the old school magicians to go to their next levels. Jim takes a step back as the edgy magician role where he gets to have plenty of fun at how silly that type of magician can look. (7/10)


Support Cast: All of the supporting cast add something to the overall storyline, be it the boss in Vegas, or other magicians who help Burt find his way again.


Director Review: Don Scardino – Don does a solid job with directing the film using clever ideas for the magic and manages to keep it all at a fun level. (6/10)


Comedy: Has a few laughs but nothing outrageously funny. (5/10)

Settings: Vegas makes for a great setting for the film as it shows how the magicians have reaches their dreams and want to get it back. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is one to try, it isn’t the funniest film but the fans of the actors will enjoy this. (Try It)


Best Part: The final trick

Worst Part: Some of the Steve Gray tricks are awkward.

Believability: It looks at the change in real magic which is real but the rest is a little bit too much to believe. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $22.5 Million

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: Abracatastic!


Overall: Magic, Stars but not Sparkle

Rating 60