LONDON – James Bond. The Queen. Paul McCartney. The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games offered their share of star-striking moments. But for me, there was only one star of this multi-million dollar extravaganza.
He’s the artistic director of the ceremony and one of my favorite film directors: "127 Hours," "Slumdog Millionaire," "Sunshine," "Millions," "28 Days Later," "The Beach," "Trainspotting" and "Shallow Grave." Oh, and that terrible Tarantino-lite film with Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz. I believe it was titled "The Less Said, the Better."
So it was with great excitement that I anticipated what Boyle had cooked up for the Olympics opener … undercut by an inevitable feeling of disappointment that no matter what kind of show he put together, it wouldn't truly be "Danny Boyle’s London Olympic Opening Ceremony."
Because that Opening Ceremony would look like this:
Great Britain athlete (Ewan McGregor, of course) runs into the stadium being chased by a local gang over a drug deal gone wrong. He finds refuge with a gorgeous but mysterious woman (Rose Byrne, of course) who teaches him the power of love to conquer any adversity and how embracing one's mortality can lead to cathartic joy.
Alas, she’s also a zombie, and quickly infects our hero with rage virus.
He enters the middle of the stadium and ravages 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens and nine geese, who in turn infect the rest of the Olympians at the ceremony. The ceremony ends with hundreds of athletes doing a rage-virus dance to theBollywood classic "Jai-Ho" while a scientist (Cillian Murphy, of course) claims he has a cure. Alas, he falls down a hole and his arm is lodged between two cliffs. Then the Queen says, "Let the Games begin!" And … scene.
Instead of this moving masterpiece, the London Olympics organizers opted for wonderful moments that celebrate the U.K.’s history, culture and people, from dancing to dramatic readings to "Hey Jude." Which is fine, I guess, if that’s what you'reinto.