FILM REVIEW
London Has Fallen

London Has Fallen and can't get up. Image © Gramercy Pictures/Lionsgate

London Has Fallen and can't get up. Image © Gramercy Pictures/Lionsgate

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