Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Review: Olympus Has Fallen

World of Blackout Film Review

Olympus Has Fallen Poster

Olympus Has Fallen
Cert: 15 / 120 mins / Dir. Antoine Fuqua

It's not a particularly subtle hand to play, littering the first half hour of the film with countless civilian fatalities in a blatant attempt to justify the ferocity sixty minutes down the line when our hero starts snapping necks left, right and centre. Behind the single-coat varnish of gung-ho patriotism is a rusty layer of political xenophobia, which will tarnish the film for many outside of the US. The fact that the film's role of The Baddies™ is handed to North Korean extremists may raise an eyebrow or two under the current world-news circumstances, but in reality the origin of the terrorists isn't overly important to the story, and NK is the 'bête de jour'. And fuck it, if that doesn't stir the audiences up, nothing will, eh?

Many (and I do mean many) of the screen-deaths are illustrated with the near-exploitative technique usually reserved for reconstructions or dramatisations of actual events, and the film is certainly a top-end 15 rating. It'd be entirely justifiable if the core screenplay didn't come off like a Die Hard knock-off. Any serious message Olympus tries to send out is mired by the kind of all-out action-bullshit we're used to not taking at all seriously these days, and where we're used to wisecracks and one-liners, instead we get Gerard Butler telling man he's going to stick a knife in his head (although he does have one awesome line, see below).

I just found it difficult to properly enjoy a film which is trying so hard to be deliberately inflammatory with such glee and so little fun. But… I have to concede that in terms of enthusiasm and adrenaline, we get 110%, and ultimately it's quite good at what it does. I just didn't always 'like' what that was…

It's probably best that I don't mention the cliché-ridden script, Butler's oft-wandering accent, and ask why all of his login-codes to the most secure computer network in the world still worked for him 18 months after he'd left his job in the White House…
oh, I just did.

Best line: "How about you and I play a game of 'fuck off'? You go first."

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Pretty much.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
I winced quite a bit, does that count?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
I'd say so, yes.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Cinema / DVD.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
Maybe, at some point.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
No. And it's not like there was a lack of opportunity, or anything.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...
It's difficult to give the film mid-marks, because to do so would be to say that it left me with nothing. And that's not the case…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)