Friday, June 28, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: The Purge, Spring Breakers and Olympus has Fallen

MOVIE REVIEW: The Purge, Spring Breakers and Olympus has Fallen

"The Purge": broody and intense; whatever ethical questions are brought up by it are moot since the movie would crumble under scrutiny. However: taken as it is, it works.

"Spring Breakers": colorful and depressing; like drug laced cotton candy and the inevitable self loathsome hangover. James Franco's character has to be seen to be believed.

"Olympus Has Fallen": Die Hard in the White House. 
There is something satisfyingly cathartic about these movies; the bad guys are sneeringly sinister and loathsome and deserving of their come-uppance and the solitary good guy is good natured (and usually in a strained but loving relationship) but EXTREMELY good at inflicting damage- even after getting his butt kicked repeatedly. When the showdowns inevitably happen we are exhilarated at the violence- in essence, we are part of it. It's emotional manipulation at it's core, but a welcome one because we all want to see the villain get what's coming to him. REALLY get what's coming- basically, we want vengeance, we want retribution and we demand justice from these characters that are stand ins for whatever causes we believe in. By projecting us into the action, the moviemakers make us use their characters (broad ones, at that) as projections of ourselves. Now, the success of these films all depend on just how effective the respective good and bad guys are, and they are quite effective here. The main villain leers and sneers and the hero dominates but is still vulnerably human with his own emotional hangups that will resurface occasionally within the film only to resolved at the climax. Every piece of this movie has been done before in plot and in craft - some to the point of mockery- but it's the equivalent of an In and Out burger after being on a diet: it's well made, better than most and tastes really friggen good even though you'll be over it after you're done.


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