PATRISCROTISM : FEVER MAKES BALLS SWEATY
The United States of America are primarily famed for three things: overwhelming national pride; lazily dropping letters out of words and Bill Murray. Sadly, there is no Bill Murray day but there is a little thing called Independence Day which is their commemoration of liberation from some proper rascals on a rainy island. America being America though- and never being one for subtleties- they’re very keen on letting the whole world know how amazing and cute they are like a desperate bridesmaid at a wedding reception. So, to celebrate their prowess at sentimentality, here are 5 films for the 4th of July that churn the British stomach and kind of make us want to ask for the Liberty Bell back.
5. Independence Day
We all knew this would be in here somewhere so let’s just breeze through it and move on, okay?
Roland Emmerich has never been a man to do things with elegance. Whether Donnie Darko’s getting his tits frozen off in a library at the end of the world or a big lizard is being a nuisance for Ferris Bueller, he typically leans towards the, ‘blow that up, we’ll shit out a plot somewhere later’ school of filmmaking. So, it came as no surprise when he created the Star Spangled Banner in celluloid form; a movie in which America saves the world all by itself because Jeff Goldblum infects alien invaders with a virus from a Mac. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, George W. Bush during his college years flies into the arsehole of a spaceship and wins the day. Probably the most grating part however is the infamous scene in which Will Smith punches an alien and declares, “Welcome to Earth”. Who the fuck elected him as ambassador for the world? I, personally, would have gone for Stone Cold Steve Austin but maybe that’s just me.
4. Air Force One
Not the 90-minute depiction of a furious game of Operation between the President and his backroom staff aboard his personal plane that we were all hoping for, but actually a rather more disappointing sojourn into Harrison Ford slapping some bad guy Russians about. You have to think that instead of everyone sitting around war rooms and going, “don’t do it, dickhead” for 7 years, a better alternative would have been to send Chewie’s bezzie off to give Gorbachev a monstrous nuggie until he cried and gave up the Cold War. Maybe that’s where Gordon Brown went wrong. Rather than calling that lady a bigot and then buggering off to his cave for winter, perhaps he should have called her it, cackled and then given her a wet willy? Just a thought.
3. Rocky IV
“I will crush you.”
If you thought Air Force One was a middle finger to the USSR, then you clearly haven’t experienced this- a film in which Sylvester Stallone epitomises the American ideals against them heartless commies, all the while wearing some sassy Stars and Stripes shorts. The message was clear for all to see: ‘we are better than you and we look fabulous too’.
You know the drill; Rocky gets knocked about like a Ping-Pong ball with disabilities before inevitably resurging to defeat the monstrous Ivan Drago. Cue the Hallmark moment as Rocky is lofted up whilst draped in the American flag amidst chants of, “USA USA WE R AWESOME U R GAY”. The victory wasn’t just restricted to the screen, however. Sylvester Stallone went on to make a further twelve Rambo’s whereas Dolph Lundgren was most recently seen in Seattle sucking off Steven Seagal for steroids.
2. Saving Private Ryan
‘MERRRRRICA, FUCK YEAH. Winning the war all on our motherfucking own, yeah!
Admittedly, this is probably the best WWII film ever made. Whether it is the breathless opening sequence or the heart-wrenching finale, even the most cynical have to be moved by it. Private Ryan earns its place on this list due to the blatant disregard of allied troops’ contribution during…well, any point in the war. At the D-Day landing, you’d be hard pressed to spot anyone who wasn’t American. Maybe the guy with his arm off was Irish; who knows. After they claim the beach in the name of Lincoln, Big and his merry bunch of men fuck around France for a bit to locate the Ryan. Ah, you think, perhaps we’ll see some of the French resistance, maybe even a cheeky Dutchman. Nope. A French family are represented but they get Vin Diesel killed because they are inept and not nearly American enough.
This selfish spot of xenophobia gets Spielberg the silver medal, the swine.
1. World Trade Center
Hold on, hold on. Hear me out. Please, put the phone down. Just let me expla—don’t type in that last 9…
Now, I know what you’re thinking. World Trade Center takes top spot not because I believe it to be a saccharine testament to the heroism of Americans during the biggest national tragedy since the States’ inception, nor due to its distasteful release so relatively soon after the attacks. No, it claims the crown for one very simple reason.
If you were to have one person who could convey the heartache, loss and despair of a country, to act as the symbolic representation of all of its suffering: would you really hire Nicolas Cage? A man who so effortlessly made Ghost Rider the Leyton Orient F.C of superhero movies? The guy who gets out-acted by bees? You would at least get Michael Biehn. At least.
For this bit of nonsense bollocks, Oliver Stone’s film wins the coveted grand prize. Congratulations, your Twix’s are in the mail.
JIMMY DONNELLAN @JimmyDonemelons