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Butler's back in action in 'Olympus Has Fallen'

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By Becca Owsley

After a series of movies that didn’t rate very well at the box office or with the critics, there’s one thing to say about “Olympus Has Fallen”: Gerard Butler is back.

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The film is like “Die Hard” in the White House. It follows the “one man on the inside against the bad guys” formula to the letter. Yet, there are a few less cheesy one-liners than typically are found in this type of movie.

Butler (“Playing for Keeps”) is a member of the Secret Service who is working a desk job at the Treasury Department because of a traumatic incident that occurred months before.

When North Korean terrorists take siege of the White House and kidnap the president, played by Aaron Eckhart (“Battle Los Angeles”), Butler finds his way inside to try to save the day.

All the other Secret Service members run headfirst into fire, leaving Butler the only one alive inside. That part of the premise is pretty far-fetched but typical in this type of movie. You have to set up the lone-hero scenario somehow, but I think the U.S. Secret Service would have fared better in a real-life situation.

Butler has to not only try to save the president, but also the president’s son, Conner, and, eventually, he has to save the entire United States of America.

Bruce Willis would be proud.

The film has a very high body count, almost to the extreme. The violence level is high, but some of the more brutal moments that could have gone too far are shielded, keeping the gore level down. It still is pretty violent.

Butler has some pretty good supporting actors in this film as well. Morgan Freeman (“The Dark Knight Rises”), Angela Bassett (“This Means War”) and Melissa Leo (“Flight”) star as Washington power players.

Rick Yune (“The Man with the Iron Fist”) plays a cold and calculating bad guy completely void of emotion.

Fight scenes in the film also are somewhat believable. Butler’s back in “300” shape for this one.

Dylan McDermott (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) and Kentucky’s Ashley Judd also star.

Antoine Fuqua, most known for directing Denzel Washington to his Oscar-wining performance in “Training Day,” also directs this action thriller.

Butler’s films have suffered a few misses at the box office over the past couple years, but the handsome Scotsman might have scored an action hit with this one.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com. For movie reviews visit her reporter page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Becca-Owsley/96924584861.

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