Wednesday, 24 April 2013

REVIEW - OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN


This riotous comedy is all kinds of dreck, and one of the best reasons to go to the cinema in a long time. Since none of the comedy is scripted, it has a naivety which, matched with its absurdity, makes Olympus Has Fallen a classic for all the wrong reasons. The ineptitude of the screenplay in dealing with political detail is breathtaking, in both its cloth-headed dialogue and its ridiculous premise - North Korean terrorists besiege the White House by basically turning up and barging their way in. A lone fighter plane, apparently on wire strings, takes out half of DC as Gerard Butler, with an accent as American as a haggis in a kilt, bellows at tourists to 'take cover', which is good advice when you're being shot at, if also blindingly obvious. The terrorists pose as South Koreans because, hey, they all look the same, those guys! Among them is an American defector, who has switched sides, or so he tells the President, because of "WALL STREET!" One helpful man supplies us with the clip of the year when he affirms, in paralysing fear, "They've taken the White House!" By this stage, it's good to remember that Olympus Has Fallen doesn't actually get any worse, and that the hilarity does continue, as the disheartenment sets in as you realise there's only going to be yet more R-rated bloodshed. When it's Butler stabbing people's brains out, or bashing their heads in with a bronze bust (now, now!), though, it's apparently more acceptable. And again when he's an American! We never learn if it's a Democrat or a Republican President in office, just that it's an American, and that means he's a darn good guy. The guys get off pretty easy, less so the girls. They bitch and moan about their gossip and fuss about their jewellery and their hair and then they wonder why their men don't listen? Don't they know they're too busy saving the world? A hug and a kiss and a gift will all make up for it, bien sur! The estimable ensemble includes Angela Bassett, #turningitout like she's in a Shakespeare tragedy, deserving of at least one Oscar for this performance, Morgan Freeman, Robert Forster, Ashley motherfucking Judd (holla!) and Melissa "Get your hands off me, I'm a fucking Academy Award winner!" Leo, chucked about like a sack of spuds by those careless Koreans, flailing around like a springer spaniel on LSD. It all concludes with the obligatory countdown timer to the impending apocalypse, sweetly positioned next to a casualty counter, tolling up the number of potential deaths like a strongman game at the funfair, as if someone would actually invent such a machine. What a hoot!