mon 23/11/2020

Olympus Has Fallen | reviews, news & interviews

Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus Has Fallen

In which Americans are mown down in the streets. But the terrorists are North Koreans so that's OK

'We lost Korea and now this!' Tinseltown gets involved in the whole Korea thing

South Korea begging Washington for protection as the dread threat of nuclear apocalypse looms? As Graham Norton recently twitquipped, the news headlines are no more than the publicity campaign for Olympus Has Fallen. Most amusing etc, but that was before a bomb on an American street killed three and injured many others.

South Korea begging Washington for protection as the dread threat of nuclear apocalypse looms? As Graham Norton recently twitquipped, the news headlines are no more than the publicity campaign for Olympus Has Fallen. Most amusing etc, but that was before a bomb on an American street killed three and injured many others.

The latest excrescent live action video game from Anthony Fuqua has a fortuitous kind of oafish currency, what with those freaky North Koreans brandishing fists at the neighbours over the fence. But without wishing to rain on anyone's parade of braindead jingoistic fervour, after the Boston marathon it may no longer be the right moment to be releasing a film in which American citizens are mown down in the streets by terrorist ordnance in the name of entertainment. Has Olympus Has Fallen fallen on its sword? No it jolly well hasn’t. The show must go on, because western paranoia about the Yellow Peril must be stoked and rabble-rousing delinquency must have its payday. “This is our time,” explains the US President when the last commie gook has been wiped out. “Our chance to get back to the best of who we are.” You'll find the words "Yee haw!" on the cutting-room floor.

Anyway, introducing the chargrilled slab of Scottish T-bone known by his thespian name as Gerard Butler. Butler IS Banning, lately relieved of his duties as a presidential bodyguard after the First Lady (Ashley Judd) died in a car crash on his watch. Spool forward two and a half minutes and the South Korean PM is in DC for top-level talks about the sabre-rattling North, the sort of talks in which heads of state helpfully tell each other stuff they already know. “As you will be aware, President Aaron Eckhart, the teenage demographic that makes up our audience does not read the foreign section of the New York Times…”

The conversation is cut short when the White House comes under attack from missile-repelling enemy aircraft and the visiting security detail reveal themselves as dastardly bitch-slapping North Korean infiltrators. There’s even a traitor in the US President’s midst. “There’s a reason I never voted for you,” shouts Dylan McDermott at Eckhart as he claps him in plastic cuffs. “Globalisation and fucking Wall Street!” Not one of the hard left’s more articulate ideologues, but hell yeah. Before you can say Die Harderer, the president is the captive in the top security bunker of the world’s most wanted terrorist (Rick Yune, pictured below with Eckhart) who is plotting to ignite nuclear war yadder yadder. Only one man is packing substantial enough cojones to ensure we’ll all be hollering and highfiving come the end credits two inevitable hours off in the distant future.

“He will move mountains or die trying,” advises the president, forgetting all about the dead wife thing. While the script by who-gives-a-shit tends to the literal, it’s not literally mountains that need moving. It's North Koreans, lots of them, and they duly get out the way of a fist/boot/blade/pistol/machine gun/handy bust of Daniel Day Lewis. Banning even comes equipped with quips: “Why don’t you and I play a game of fuck off?” he suggests to his nemesis dialectically, before pledging to stab him in the braincells.

Meanwhile, in the special ops room the usual uniforms have mustered to void their bowels and say things like “How did it come to this? We lost Korea and now this!” Only Morgan Freeman, speaker and now the US’s first acting president, is calm enough to call for coffee, and in a real cup. At least something’s real in Olympus Has Fallen. The rest is Styrofoam. “Fucking shit,” says the army chief of staff as a risible CGI facsimile of the Washington monument is sawn off at the midriff. They should have put those words on the poster.

Watch the trailer for Olympus Has Fallen

Western paranoia about the Yellow Peril must be stoked and rabble-rousing delinquency must have its payday

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