Saturday, September 7, 2013
Olympus Has Fallen!
My daughters came in for a visit this past holiday weekend and brought with them a copy of this summer's action flick Olympus Has Fallen. So we put it on and sat back as a family to enjoy seeing Washington DC attacked by North Korean terrorists.
Now I'm not going to belabor this, the movie directed by Antoine Fuqua has some outstanding action sequences, especially in the first third of the flick when the Koreans attack the White House. The sequences are wildly kinetic and creatively brutal with wide-ranging lethal consequences. That part of the movie has an awesome punch.
But at a point relatively soon after the initial assault we fall into a fairly traditional lone hero must save hostages scenario which has been played many times over the decades. It's a tried and true format and offers some real possibilities here with Gerard Butler serving exceedingly well as the tough commando ready to take heads to save his Aaron Echhart, commander-in-chief.
But that's where this one runs off the rails. At the point where the President and his staff are taken prisoner in the bowels of the White House and the Koreans have taken control of the "People's House", the logical and inevitable counter attack is postponed time and again out of some incredibly lame concern for the specific life of the particular man serving as President. Bollocks!
Bollocks I say!
Without getting into too much detail here, the story devolves to the point where the entire nation, hell the entire world is threatened by nuclear extinction because the powers-that-be cannot somehow bring themselves to allow the killing of five people. It's ludicrous to think that the leadership of this country would be as feckless as the dopes portrayed in this story.
My daughters and I groaned repeatedly as one after another stupid decisions allowed an effective but small-scale terrorist attack to mushroom into a world-shaking event with far-reaching global consequences. The terrorism shown here was all too effective because the leadership portrayed didn't seem to have any handle on the big picture. The last time Morgan Freeman got to play President, a damn comet hit the Earth and this time he just about causes the same amount of damage because he cannot act like someone with anything remotely like perspective.
The creators of this movie made a pretty exciting action flick, but damn I wish they'd spend just a few more minutes fixing some the gaping maws in the plot which caused me and mine at least to detach from the narrative with sarcastic disdain.