It’s easy to assume Gerard Butler isn’t the action hero he genuinely is. Forget about The Phantom of the Opera, disregard PS I Love You, and don’t even mention The Ugly Truth; to mark the Blu/ray, DVD and Download release of Olympus Has Fallen (26th August), we count down the flicks which prove the Scottish actor is one of cinema’s most entertaining action guys of the moment.
Olympus Has Fallen
Heading up the first true blockbuster of the year, Gerard Butler stars as Former Secret Service officer Mark Banning who must employ his in-depth knowledge of the White House when North Korean’s lead an assault on the most famous building in the world. Dispatching of enemies, disabling communications and saving the President - Gerard Butler firmly establishes himself here as one of cinema’s leading action heroes, a role which he has been tagged with many times before...
Early supporting roles in Reign of Fire (2002) and 2003’s Tomb Raider sequel The Cradle of Life - not to mention an even earlier role in Pierce Brosnan’s second Bond venture Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) - all led to 300; Zack Snyder’s super-imposed gritty action-fantasy in which Butler stars as King Leonidas who leads 300 Spartans into a rebellion against the Persians. The film received mixed reviews upon its 2007 release, but has since earned a cult following, if only for Butler’s delivery of the line ‘This Is Spaaaaarta.’
A few roles later (fantasy Nim’s Island, and Guy Ritchie crime flick RocknRolla - both 2008), Butler returned to the action fold with the futuristic 2009 sci-fi Gamer. Here, Butler plays John ‘Kable’ Tillman, a participant in an online game which can control human beings as players. An enjoyable performance in a watchable flick.
Law Abiding Citizen
From the mind of the writer/director behind Equilibrium (Kurt Wimmer) comes Law Abiding Citizen, a vigilante thriller starring Butler (as the vigilante, of course!). Set in Philadelphia, the story follows Clyde Shelton, a man driven to commit multiple murders in the avengement of his family and in an attempt to destroy the corrupt criminal justice system. Merciless but heartfelt, Butler merges his nice-guy traits with his rugged action hero chops to deliver an thrilling performance in an entertaining film.
The Bounty Hunter
Okay, so The Bounty Hunter may have many things wrong with it, but Gerard Butler’s presence is one feature that prevents this from being the complete disaster it’s perceived to be. Combining the two things he is most known for (rom coms + action) equals Andy Tennant’s romantic action comedy, in which Butler plays a former NYPD officer turned bounty hunter who’s tasked with bringing his ex-wife Nicole (Jennfier Aniston) to justice. Cue zany shenanigans, mixed with action set-pieces you’re allowed to find fun.
Olympus Has Fallen is released on DVD, Blu-ray and Download from 26th August 2013 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.