Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Olympus Has Fallen
Die Hard imitations come a dime a dozen nowadays. Olympus Has Fallen is another Die Hard wannabe, and yet another one of the breed that takes itself far too seriously in the process.
The exposition has the USA president's (Aaron Eckhart) most loyal Secret Service agent, Mike (Gerard Butler), failing his boss. Not in the boxing ring, where he lets the master use him for target practice, but rather when the president's car slips over an icy road and he rescues the man instead of the First Lady (Ashley Judd, whom I haven't seen for a long while, making a very short comeback). Mike moves on to leave the president's service.
Not if North Korea can help it, though. On the day the leader of South Korean comes to meet our manly president at the White House, the northerly neighbours manage to sneak into Washington a Hercules gunship packed with guns and ammunition. All the defences, from ground to air missiles to the latest fighter jets, won't do before Washington is devastated. And while everyone is distracted by the aerial assault, a group of northern commandos invades the White House to take control of its bunker and assets, president and bunker included. The only one who notices this taking place is our Mike, and rest assured - he will not rest until he creatively kills every last invader to restore former glory to his former place of work.
Couple the above with a Morgan Freeman portraying the Speaker of the House that takes the keys of the USA when Numbers One and Two are taken captive, as well as a Cerberus secret system designed to prevent the false detonation of American nuclear weapons but having a major weakness that no one other than the North Koreans managed to figure out, and what you have at hand is not only an overlong sentence but also a grotesquely overcomplicated movie with far too much bullshit for an aware viewer to accept without ridicule. You will probably be entertained as you go along, with Butler moving from one crisis to another, killing one baddie after the other as he progresses through the White House in that now familiar Die Hard fashion towards the bigger boss fights; but between the unashamedly unlikely premises, the Cerberus bullshit and the amount of cliches that Olympus Has Fallen packs up, no sane person can sustain this one without a good laugh. Not a laugh with the film, but a laugh at the film.
Seriously, isn't there a limit to the number of times we can watch the American flag waving around, either being tattered by baddies or being restored to its former glory by our glorious heroes? It seems like Americans, for whom this crap is undoubtedly aimed, have a problem figuring out that it is not this piece of sheet that matters but rather the values it is supposed to stand for. But when these values narrow down to feelings of supremacy and xenophobia, the result is bad. Very bad.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that Olympus Has Fallen is just another movie from director Antoine Fuqua (Shooter).
Overall: Entertaining yet totally pathetic. 1.5 sarcastic crabs out of 5.