Not to be confused with Olympus Has Fallen from 2013, – oh wait – it’s the same writers and premise just in London. With much of the same cast and horrible jingoistic dialogue. Flag wavin’ shenanigans. So, yeah, it IS to be confused with Olympus Has Fallen. THIS is a sequel and almost the same film.
When the British Prime Minister mysteriously dies, Mike Banning accompanies the President to his funeral in London. There he discovers a terrorist plot to assassinate all the worlds leaders and cause global havoc. Actually, he discovers the plot because it HAPPENS and then he and the President are chased all around London and they have to stay one step ahead of a shitload of people trying to kill them.
Gerard Butler returns as Mike Banning, the U.S. President’s head of secret service and all around tough guy, one man assault team. Aaron Eckhart returns as U.S. President, Benjamin Asher, along with Morgan Freeman as the Vice President. The rest of the cast is like a who’s who of “Sure, I’ll take that paycheck along with a free vacation in London”. Among them are Radha Mitchell, who is so much better than this material, Angela Bassett, who is at least solid and commits, Patrick Kennedy, Jackie Earl Haley, Robert Forster, and Melissa Leo.
London Has Fallen is such a paint-by-numbers exercise in action films. Not that it isn’t competently made – it is. It looks good, the action is fun, the fight scenes tight with a lot of deaths by bullet – oh and a few by stabbing. Multiple stabbings. That Mike Banning, he sure knows how to kill folks. Especially Middle-Eastern terroist types. This film really wants us all to hate those terrorists and know how great Americans are. Dialogue like this is common: Vice President Trumball: “To those who threaten our freedom: America will rise up. And make no mistake; we will find you, and we will destroy you.” America! Fuck Yeah!
When the British Prime Minister dies mysteriously- we know THAT has to mean something later – all of the world’s leaders are obligated to attend, right? So they do, and that means they’re all in the same place, ripe for the picking! Astonishingly, half of the local London police and all the various government security are imposters! They’re all terrorist plants and sympathizers. Things start exploding all over London and it’s chaos. Now everybody is shooting at the President. Apparently some guy’s son died as a civilian casualty in a U.S. bombing raid in the Middle East and the guy wants revenge on the the President. Gee, that’s never been done before.
It would all be rather serviceable if it weren’t all so over-the-top preposterous. It’s all clearly fictional exaggeration to the logical viewer, but the frightening thing is that you know there are people that will see this as some kind of sign and portent. It’s all very bonkers and in light of that I suppose in some way it could be construed as completely silly action fun with the right state of mind. I mean, it IS really absurd.
But, whatever frivolous, mind-numbing fun there might be in London Has Fallen, I can’t in good conscience tell anyone to spend their hard-earned money on it in the theater. For a mere two and half kittenhands, you could marginally while away the one hundred minutes on cable/streaming later. Or, you know, go see Deadpool again.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, not down-playing the idea of say, reading a book, but let’s face it, Deadpool was pretty darn fun.