Closing Ceremony Takes the Bloom Off Zhang Yimou, Jimmy Page

Photo: Getty Images

We were unabashed fans of Zhang Yimou’s opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics, and eagerly looked forward to last night’s closing ceremony, assuming it would offer the same mix of jaw-dropping stagecraft, awe-inspiring fireworks, and pants-wetting population. Imagine our disappointment when the closing ceremony included little that we couldn’t have thought up if someone gave us millions of dollars, thousands of people, and terrible taste. Drummers in bike helmets! Dancers wearing sleigh bells! People flying around on wires, again!

The London section was particularly lousy, with an embalmed-looking Jimmy Page playing incoherent guitar while Leona Lewis sang, we guess, “Whole Lotta Love,” and extras with umbrellas danced around a red double-decker bus. Cor blimey, where were the fish-and-chips, Buckingham Palace guards, and Austin Powers?

We were about to give up on the ceremony when that huge-ass tower covered in acrobats blew us away, mostly because we couldn’t believe no one fell to his death. And the fireworks, we’ll grudgingly admit, were goddamned astonishing once again. We still want Zhang Yimou to direct the conventions.

Earlier: How Awesome Will Zhang Yimou’s Olympic Closing Ceremony Be?
Did the Beijing Opening Ceremony Finally Make Opening Ceremonies Cool Again?

Closing Ceremony Takes the Bloom Off Zhang Yimou, Jimmy Page