In 2013 I called Olympus Has Fallen "a handjob to the American public." All it wanted to do was massage our egos with misplaced attempts at badassery brought on by one of the dumbest action movie plots I’ve ever had the luxury of seeing.
If that’s the case then London Has Fallen is more of the same, only this time with some tongue thrown in.
How do we escalate a direct sequel to a film that had the big bad taking over the White House? Why, by blowing up every landmark in London! But why would they do this?
Good question! It’s because an American drone attacked the family at a wedding that only succeeded in killing innocents.
So yeah, that’s gross.
The long-and-short of the plot is that illegal weapons dealer Aamier Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) was targeted in a drone strike that failed to kill him but did kill his daughter on the day of her wedding. In retaliation, he and his son Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter) and a whole host of angry terrorists spend two years planning their revenge.
It comes when the British Prime Minister passes away and over a dozen heads of state arrive to attend the funeral. After a series of coordinated attacks destroy all the things, it’s up to our hero Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) to save President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) once again.
Remember how I used the word gross? I was trying to be polite. The entire film gave me the heebie jeebies. ‘Fuck yous’ are thrown with wild abandon as Banning takes out wave after wave of terrorists, even going so far as to torture them needlessly. I don’t use the word torture lightly either. At one point Banning stabs a guy and wriggles it in the wound. Not to extract information, but just to make him scream.
Yeah, it’s that kind of movie.
I can handle pro-American movies. Hell, I enjoy the shit out of many of them. I still love American Sniper despite the criticisms levied against it. I viewed Black Hawk Down so many times the menu was burned into my first flat screen TV. But rampant hoo-rah U.S.A! movies that begin and end with a literal paean to American might is a bit more than I can stomach.
I didn’t think the best Gerard Butler movie of 2016 looked to be Gods of Egypt, but there you go.
London Has Fallen
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell
Directed by: Babak Najafi
Written by: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Chad St. John, Christian Gudegast
Running time: 99 minutes
I’m so selfish, I sometimes use other people’s birthdays to measure certain spans of time in my own life. In terms of Drunk Monkeys, the last four years can disguise themselves as forty quite well. I’m amazed at the time, place, and state of my life in mid-2012, when the endlessly amazing Matthew Guerruckey asked me if I “had anything else I thought Drunk Monkeys would like.”
I gave them the first issue of this column. And that was it. I’ve written sixty-two editions of Captain Canada’s Movie Rodeo for DM.
Even if I think you’re hot, vile garbage, if you wrote about politics this year, I have to applaud your courage. That might not be the right word. Whatever it is, I don’t have it this time around. I’ve never been fully comfortable in writing about political matters. I’ve scratched together a few loose thoughts over the years. I always wind up wishing I hadn’t. Keeping depression and terminal cynicism out of my heart is hard enough these days. Researching and writing an article on the 2016 Presidential Election, or on just about anything else happening right now, feels like spiritual suicide.
Matthew Guerruckey reviews Sully, the latest from director Clint Eastwood, starring Tom Hanks as Captain "Sully" Sullenberger.
Donald McCarthy reviews the gripping crime thriller Hell or High Water.
A 100 Word Review of the Nick Cave movie One More Time with Feeling, by our Managing Editor, Dani Neiley!
Kolleen Carney with a 100 Word Film Review of The Little Prince, the animated adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic novel.
Scott Waldyn reviews the surprising new thriller, Don't Breathe.
Our 100 Word Movie Review of Kubo and the Two String, from Laika Studios!
Captain Canada returns again, with a look at Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond, and many more in a double-sized edition of the Movie Rodeo!
Scott Waldyn reviews The Killing Joke, an animated adaptation of the highly beloved comic book. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a dud. Our rating: C.