So the editor says I have to review this movie called The Howard Years and I’m like WTF? sounds lame I hate politics but after I watched it I’m like “John Howard Rox!” Except there’s no chick action at all in this, it’s like 1000% action and guys doing stuff and maybe I guess cos it’s inspired by a true story they don’t have any chicks except the narratoress. We never see her but we sure hear her a lot, she’s like “and then this happened”, and “then that happened”, and she sounds totally hot, like, smokin’ hot, like Olga Kurylenko hot but for blind guys and without that cranky James Bourne guy around.

But the whole thing is this old guy, he’s seriously old, like he’s now nothing but eyebrows, but he’s tough, like Lee Marvin Old School tough, and he’s in his mansion where he hangs out and he’s thinking back to some adventure like Saving Ryan’s Privates where the old guy at the start morphs into Tom Hanks and goes back in time to kill the Nazis. So like one moment he’s in his chair and then it’s like centuries before, and he’s in Washington and he’s going to the White House to see the President.

At the White House they can’t stop him from coming, they’re firing artillery at him and he’s like “I’m coming anyway” and later we find out he’s “the man of steel” which explains why they can’t stop him. But it’s cool ‘cos it turns out he’s on our side and they have beers and stuff at the White House and there’s some old black guy there like Barack Obama’s great grandfather or something. There weren’t too many black guys in this film.

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Anyway no sh-t it’s the DAY BEFORE 9/11! And so the towers come down and everyone’s Holy ZOMG! and this Howard guy is saying to the President “we’re gonna help you guys get some payback big time” and they activate this Anzus device, and he’s like back in Australia where it’s the middle of the night. Cool.

So far it’s seriously awesome except they keep interrupting it cos there’s all these other old guys, different to the eyebrows guy, sitting around reminiscing and I’m like WTF, can we stick to the one oldtimer at a time having his flashbacks thanks, and there’s this one guy who sounds like someone from that Fagshead Revisited film that came out talking about stuff and I’m like “shut your whiny ass” but then it gets cool again cos there’s these Iraqi terrorists trying to break into Australia in boats from Indonesia, it’s like they used planes in New York but cos Austria’s an island they have to use boats, and Howard has this Justice League of badass superheroes to fight them with. First there’s this zombie guy that Howard sends out to kick their asses back to Indonesia and Zombie Guy is like “this is some seriously inappropriate sh-t” cos they start chucking these kids into the water, like I guess really slow-moving human torpedoes.

And then that doesn’t stop the terrorists so Howard tells zombie d00d to haul a-s out and like go eat some brains or whatever and he sends in his own EVIL TWIN! You can tell he’s his evil twin cos he looks the same as Howard but he’s got this huge scar on his forehead, and this guy has like navy and army guys at his command and he says “open a can of whoopass on these terrorists” and they just totally do it. But then someone has these photos and it shows them rescuing the kids from the water instead of handing their asses to them on a plate so the evil twin guy has to like get fired. I kinda didn’t follow that bit. And we never saw the zombie guy again either, but there could be a spin-off franchise with Zombie Guy and Evil Twin I think. That’d be awesome, especially if Don Logan from Sexy Beast and Jean Reno played them.

Then Tony Blair comes in and they obviously couldn’t get that guy from the English film about Princess Di buying the farm cos the guy who plays him looks totally nothing like Blair. Then the terrorists they sent back to Indonesia blow something up there and it’s like “WTF? We’re gonna open up an even bigger can of whoopass” and they attack Saddam Hussein who’s controlling all the terrorists. Hussein’s like “you all suck” and flipping the bird at everyone from where he lives in Dadsbag and the President says to Howard “we’re totally nailing his as-s with those giant sword things in Iraq, I’ll take the left one you take the right” and that’s when the cool stuff starts, there’s like missiles and explosions and stuff and Austrian troops are so kicka-s they don’t have a SINGLE casualty. It’s like the best boss level since Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid.

There’s this downer of a moment when Teddybear guy from Bridesa-s Revisited cries a freakin’ river cos they have to go to war and says they didn’t want to and I’m like “hey bitch, Lars Von Tryhard’s film’s THAT way” but by that stage it’s like Mission Accomplished anyway. Then Howard goes to the President’s ranch and they’re so all over each other it looks a bit like Brokeass Mountain for a moment. But just when you think it’s over it turns out some guy from Howard’s own party was the traitor all the time and wants to take over from Howard and it’s like Lord of the Rings: The Really Suckful Middle Film That Sucked where they get the tree guys to take out Count Dooku. Howard gets these tree guys from Southern Austria, some of them like have tatts and not just the buttantler types, and they kick ass and the guy who wants his job tries to shake Howard’s hand off but Howard’s like “I’m ready for you mofo” and he’s spat on his palm or something beforehand and pwns him!

Like I said this film was cool except there’s no chicks. There’s this blonde near the end who comes on and she’s like “give him enough rope and he’ll blow himself up” and I’m thinking “WTF? how does that work? Like maybe he’s gonna lower himself into the cave full of explosives and he’s got enough rope to get to the floor and when he gets there it’s like BOOM?” I didn’t get that.

Anyway I heard there’s a sequel, The Return of the Howard Years, and I hope it has more chicks but I rate this 4 out of 5 on the Samuel L. Jackson Richter Scale of Kickassery.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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