Over five flicks of decreasing quality, Die Hard’s John McClane has found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time with great regularity, lucklessly embroiled in nefarious plot after nefarious plot. But it could be worse: he could be in Olympus Has Fallen – a movie that looks like a Die Hard film, feels (sporadically) like a Die Hard film, but lacks the wit and coiled adrenaline that made that series’ debut a classic.
Its outlandish setup (in which North Korean terrorists storm the White House and hold Aaron Eckhart’s stoic POTUS hostage) is efficiently established, and the carnage is surprisingly unrestrained, with the President’s security detail cut down by a strafing gunship and the entrance of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue quickly reduced to rubble. But Gerard Butler’s McClane-lite ex-Secret Service agent Mike Banning makes for a bland hero, and his grim, ruthless dispatching of endless corridors of indeterminate bad guys swiftly grows tiresome. Some well-staged action early on saves its hide, but overall Olympus… scores a yippie-kay-nay. [Chris Buckle]