Dan's Review: "London Has Fallen" an assault on our intelligence
Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart in London Has Fallen © 2016 – Gramercy Pictures/Lionsgate
London Has Fallen (Lionsgate/Gramercy)
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout.
Starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Charlotte Riley, Jackie Earle Haley, Sean O'Bryan, Mehdi Dehbi, Waleed Zuaiter, Colin Salmon, Patrick Kennedy, Anthony Delancy, Alex Giannini, Nancy Baldwin.
Written by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Chad St. John, Christian Gudegast.
Directed by Babak Najafi.
Gerard Butler is not having a good year. Heck, he’s had a pretty bad week. Seven days after the Gods of Egypt debacle hit theaters, along comes London Has Fallen, an unnecessary sequel to 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen, a film about a North Korean White House attack.
Butler reprises his role as Mike Banning, a (now redeemed) Secret Service agent assigned to protect U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart). When the English prim minister dies under suspicious circumstances, all the world leaders assemble in London to attend the state funeral. Little do they know, a trap has been set by wanted terrorist Aamir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul), whose family was mangled and killed during a drone attack at his daughter’s wedding. When Banning and President Asher arrive, all of the world leaders from France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada are assassinated. Mike is able to get President Asher to the Marine One helicopter, which is shot down by Stinger missiles. Mike and Asher survive the crash (one important staffer does not), and the pair take to the streets of London where it seems an army of Islamic terrorists have taken over, posing as police officers. As the two men seek assistance from Jacqueline Marshall (Charlotte Riley) a trusted MI-6 agent, Vice President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) works with the White House staff to assist their leader and keep the country running. As Mike and the president encounter more and more terrorists, English officials discover they have a traitor in their midst, leading to major battle in the heart of the city.
London Has Fallen is a cliché-ridden, mindless action movie that is even more forgettable than it predecessor. I guess we were supposed to be distracted by all those cool explosions and gunplay, while ignoring the silly dialogue and improbable plot devices (especially the “inside man” crutch that fills all plot holes in films like this). Fictional, cartoonish terrorist characters aren’t helping calm the fears of anyone, either. In a world where real terrorism lurks and our current leaders don’t seem to know how to deal with such it (not to mention the current group of presidential candidates), London Has Fallen comes across as a cheap pandering for patriotism. More often than not, it assaults the intelligences more than entertains, and it doesn’t help to rally anyone to freedom’s cause.
London Has Fallen Trailer