about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Olympus has Fallen

This is Steven Petrick posting.

I am not in very good shape today. Some bug or other has moved in and set up light housekeeping. The odd thing is that my body is not reacting the way it normally reacts to such a circumstance. Normally when I get sick my ability to withstand cold goes out the window. I will quite literally complain about how cold it is at 70 degrees, and 50 degrees makes me claim to be on the verge of freezing to death. This time I am seem more to just be in "normal human range" for temperatures, e.g., 32 degrees is definitely cold, cold enough that I have not gone for my normal two-mile or so walk the last couple of nights, but not so cold that I have not taken out the trash. I am, however, ill, with a nagging cough, running nose, and occasional serious sneezes. What I have I do not know. I really thought I was getting over it last night, but woke to a pretty serious relapse this morning.

Beyond the above, SVC and Leanna allowed Jean and me to watch "Olympus has Fallen."

I am sure many of you have seen it and know it for a massively implausible romp, but I thought I would touch on a few things.

First we have the implausibility that our villain put together his suicide troops. Make no bones about it, virtually all of his troops were on a suicide mission, and there is no real explanation of what their motivation for this was.

Where the C-130 came from (where it launched from, how it got there, where the very skilled flight crew came from) is never explained. There is no question that the flight crew was highly trained and skilled (you do not circle a fixed point on the ground so that your guns can rake the roof of the Whitehouse without significant pilot skill, i.e., these guys were not Al Qaida wannabes who just needed to fly airliners in straight lines at buildings).

Second, you do know that not everyone who works at the White House is a trained agent, right? So one of the problems was that when you see a scene of the White House under attack from one direction, you should see a bunch of clerks and bureaucrats, to include cooks and stewards, fleeing from the White House from the other side. Or at least have a scene where the hero basically finds where they were all gathered together and killed by the villains (killing them is easier than maintaining guard on them given the villain's intentions).

Third, while the glass on the White House is armored (thus the defenders could not knock out the windows and then fire from inside the building) there were more doors than just the front entrance, and some of these should have been used as firing posts so that all of the defenders are not gathered in one tight spot where a heavy machinegun can nail them. And some of the defenders should have been maneuvering to the flanks, out of other exits to put a crossfire on the attackers.

Fourth, while I give kudos to the film for not simply having both of the first two intercepting jets have their pilots killed (one managed to eject), there was a major flaw in that the attackers at the White House had no wounded. Seriously, this was a gunbattle across the front lawn of the White House. Gunbattles will typically produce two to four wounded for every one killed. I have no problem that there were no wounded among the defenders (the attackers executed anyone who might be breathing among the defenders), but where were the wounded among the attackers? There was no scene where the wounded attackers were killing themselves, no scene where the healthy survivors among the attackers killed off their own wounded (given the suicide nature of the operation either would have made some sense), and no scene of the attackers gathering their wounded and performing first aid, or members of the attackers performing guard mount despite minor wounds.

Fifth, the larger background issue is not resolved in any way that we know of (did North Korea back down or invade South Korea?).

Sixth, as usual Hollywood is not able to those who wear uniforms or otherwise operate to provide security to Americans as "real people." Not even those in uniform on screen react to the deaths of the Navy Seals or the flight crews of the various helicopters as if they were "people." Not even the flight crew of the helicopter supposedly flying out the villains and their hostage president are worthy of any comment on their deaths. They wear uniforms and so are not really people to be cared about.

I could go on, there were so many things about this film that made no sense.

If you see, just try to accept it as a romp about the one heroic guy who makes the difference, saves a total of three lives and not much else.