Review – London Has Fallen and So Has the Quality of the Franchise

Posted by at 1:36 pm on March 3, 2016

London is Falling

Sometimes you just cannot get the old team back together and have the same magic. London has Fallen is the follow up to a very strong popcorn movie – Olympus Has Fallen. While the movie would never get an oscar as best movie of the year, it did job of being a strong action movie. While you did need to detach for the reality some to let movie move along, you did not need to take a dummy pill in the process.

In Olympus Has Fallen, a Secret Service Officer named Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), gains personal redemption by saving the President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and his son’s asses when North Korean terrorists storm the White House. Topping off the cast was Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House, Allan Trumbull, who is the Acting President during most of the movie. In some ways, he stole the movie and he does it again in London Has Fallen.

Even when it came up short, which it did a few times, Olympus Has Fallen was an immensely entertaining, American lone gunman action film. That movie made 161 million at the box office, so a sequel is required these days in Hollywood.

London Has Fallen 2

So a few years have past and the White House is back to its full glory and now we have a full on bromance between White House Secret Service agent Gerard Butler and his boss, the equally buff US president Aaron Eckhart.

Our hero Butler is about to have a kid and is planning what he needs to do in life to be a good father. Yes, he wants to go over board with the baby cameras and would love to make the nursery into a bunker. He is what he is,  but this time without the little nuances from the first movie game him that made him more than just Rambo and the film a fair pick as a date movie. Ok ladies, and some men, I know Gerard Butler is easy on the eyes.

The President soon learns of the death of Prime Mister of the UK, and they are off flying to London, as are other world leaders. Once in in the UK, it all kicks off again, with dozens of tourist landmarks shattered by Arab evil-doers from a country Butler calls “Fuckheadistan.” Now the film seems to overly avoid gore, qualifying for an R rating only on account of a few too many stilted “fucks.”

Sadly, the film uses some very grainy stock shoots and surprisingly even some cheap-looking digital effects. In general there was an over use of licensed stock footage, that did not match the tone of the movie, and leaves you as the viewer wondering why there isn’t more panic in those shots. Hello! London’s landmarks have been blown up and heads of state are being killed in your city.

The first film did not have those issues. So even if you just going to see to the film for the booms and falling buildings, you will be disappointed.

Back to the bad guys. You may ask, what is the motive for the bad guys? Turns out it is to avenge bystanders killed by a drone strike. Sadly they use that plot nut to have the film go into full xenophobic mind set. While the first film had North Koreans as the bad guys, Koreans were not made out to be bad people. London Has Fallen uses the themes such as immigrants “taking” jobs and people with brown skin are scary enough to be threats to international safety as replacements for solid plot.

Heck while the bros are running around London look to get out there is even time for a coming-out-of-the-closet gag (?) when the president briefly hides from the bad guys in a closet! It falls flat.

During the film Mike Banning and President Asher realize that security provisions in a foreign nation mean nothing: they can only rely on themselves, along with a few loyal SAS guys and a pert female MI6 agent.

Sadly the audience gets the run around during the movie too – seeing the same kind of fights and gun fire over and over again.

I was looking forward to seeing this movie.  I love good bomb blast as much as the next guy. But this move turned out to be a dud with heavy xenophobic over tones.  Even Mr. Freeman’s best Easy Reader voice could not get this film to 2 stars.





1.5 Stars Out of 5

Directed by Babak Najafi
Story by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt

Gerard Butler
Aaron Eckhart
Morgan Freeman
Alon Moni Aboutboul
Angela Bassett
Robert Forster
Melissa Leo
Radha Mitchell
Charlotte Riley

Release dates March 4, 2016 (United States)
Running time 99 minutes

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