Don't worry, spoilers are under the cut. But for a quickie, no-spoiler review:
An Upgraded, On-Speed-Die Hard: Absolutely
Enjoyable anyway: Abso-fucking-lutely
Glad I saw it in a theater: Ditto
Before I actually discuss the movie itself, I should mention how I haven't been to a movie theater in years, okay? But when someone gives you a ticket they purchased online (and then found they couldn't go), and it's to the new Cinepolis literally around the corner and it's for Olympus Has Fallen, you just don't say no, you know? So I girded my loins, exercised my right to a couple of Xanax, and went. Oh, and if you follow the Cinepolis link above, you'll see another reason why I went (watch the vid if you're unaware of these new 'theaters'). I mean, recliners? Swinging table-top food trays? End tables? Who wouldn't want to watch a blockbuster under those conditions? What's even more awesome is if someone has the 'recliner' next to yours, there's so much distance (and an end table), you won't even notice them! It was freaking amazing.
When the previews started, the first memory of theater-going that came rushing back to me was the SOUND.
Boy howdy and cover those ears, boys and girls! But after a few minutes, my ears adjusted (as sense memory kicked in - without benefit of Blair's lovely touch) and I sat back, legs up, to enjoy the coming attractions (sometimes the best part of the movie experience) that included the new Star Trek movie and "The Man of Steel" (may my friend not be able to use another ticket two more times - me bad). So now that you know how comfy I was...on to the movie itself:
There were no surprises - none. Zero. Zip. Every single incident that occurred was telegraphed way ahead of time - and with no subtlety whatsoever. But you know what? I didn't give a crap - I loved it anyway. Loved it even though, the moment they all headed happily out into a storm for a party at the very beginning, I knew the First Lady would die in the next few minutes and that our hero would be forced to make a choice between saving the President or his wife and that of course, he'd save the President. And yes, loved it even though I knew instantly said choice would result in, months later, a boring Treasury job for our Hero because the President, who trusted him implicitly, couldn't have him around because it 'reminded him' of the horrible event. Did the knowing lessen the impact? Nope. I still cringed, gasped, teared up, and gripped my seat. Go figure.
Oh, and before they head out for the party, we are, of course, introduced to our hero's band of Secret Service Agents and yes, unless you live on Mars, you too will know instantly that Dylan McDermott is the Alan Rickman of the film and that those handsome Secret Service agents will ALL die. You'll also know, with complete certainty, that later, there will be a scene between McDermott and Butler; in the devastated White House - and it will involve a cigarette - along with that little something that will give McDermott away to Gerard. But you won't mind a bit.
Note: The reason for McDermott's going rogue and becoming a traitor was...to put it bluntly: ridiculous. I mean - WALL STREET? Really? REALLY? (Yes, he blames Wall Street for his decision. No kidding). Heck, I blame Wall Street for everything too, but joining up with the North Koreans and killing hundreds of Americans? Yeah, a tad over the top.
It will also be of no surprise that the military will, as usual, not listen to their only inside man who's already taken out more terrorists than the police, Secret Service and military combined and you'll also know that Morgan Freeman will rise above it all and - eventually - give our hero the lead, because he is, after all, Morgan Freeman, the requisite SMART black guy, just as Angela Basset has become the female version of Morgan. Duh. You will also know - way ahead of time - that the President's son is in NO danger whatsoever, but you'll be on the edge of your seat anyway. :)
Did I miss the humor of the original Die Hard? And by humor, I mean all of Bruce Willis' little asides, the answer is no. Why? Because Mike Banning, Our Hero, is not a cop on vacation who finds himself stuck in an improbable situation. No, he's a hardcore SS agent stuck in an improbable situation, but this one...no, there's nothing funny about it; in fact, it sticks a bit too close to home, especially now. Does that mean the hero doesn't get in a few smart-assed lines? Nope, he does. And they're pretty good too. And of course, you'll know with absolute certainty that the end, no matter what, will have our Hero back in his "I'm on the Eagle's tail" suit and earwig, by the President's side. Of course, you'll wonder how the President manages to look perfectly healthy (given the fact that he was stabbed - or was it shot? - at VERY close range) while Mike's bruises and cuts still show brightly (as in NO time passing) on his face, but the rousing music will swell up, the American flag will wave proudly again, and you'll forget that little faux pas. :)
So overall - I give Olympus Has Fallen a thumb's up and Gerard gets extra credit for providing me with the single surprise of the movie: the end credits stating, "A So-and-so, Gerard Butler, and So-and-so Film". Yep, he produced it. I've seen him on three talk shows, pushing the film, and not once had this fact come up (his mother, yes, being producer, no). Amazing. GO GERARD!
Okay, my system (meaning me) is crashing, so time to fall into bed and watch some calming television!