London Has Fallen
I’m no kidnapper. I’ve never tried and, unless this critics thing really falls through, I hopefully never will. That said, were I to give it a crack, I can’t help but think the overarching guideline for a successful ‘grab' must be that my victim isn’t dead by the time I get him. But look, I’m getting ahead of myself here. To the movie...
In 2013 the world found itself subject to a ridiculous ‘White House Being Taken Over By Terrorists Only To Be Saved By One Gritty Muscly Dude’ genre battle between Olympus Has Fallen and the far superior White House Down. Now, three years later, we get London Has Fallen - the sequel nobody was calling for.
Starring Gerard Butler as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, London Has Fallen chronicles a devastating series of attacks throughout London on the morning of a state funeral with the goal of assassinating world leaders and kidnapping the US President (Aaron Eckhart).
Ah. There we are again. Kidnapping. I guess I’m just saying I’d be reluctant to use explosives near my kidnap target because of the potential for hurting him. I probably wouldn’t, for example, brief one of my generic ‘international terrorists’ to spend several minutes simply lobbing rocket-propelled grenades directly at the President’s car. Or his hiding spot. Or his face. Anyway, minor side point.
London Has Fallen boasts arguably the most outstanding supporting cast ever assembled of Academy Award winners and nominees to do nothing but stare at a screen. Morgan Freeman, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo and Angela Bassett all shine for the several seconds of screen time they’re given in the White House Situation Room, and...
Sorry, it’s just - they shoot his helicopter down. The President’s one. While he’s in it. From an aviation safety standpoint alone, statistically that’s a huge risk to take when you want to capture him alive. It’s like using a nuke to open up a Kinder Surprise and get the toy.
As for the script, London Has Fallen's terrorists speak in advertising slogans like “Vengeance must always be profound, and absolute”, while Butler’s hero Banning consistently spouts racist gems like: “Why don’t you go back to F*ckheadistan or wherever it is you came from?” In fact, London Has Fallen is so astoundingly jingoistic and overtly xenophobic, you half-expect the credits to conclude with “Paid for by Trump 4 President”.
Plus...they just shoot at the President all the time. Especially when he’s in cars. And then they ram those cars with garbage trucks, even before they know whether or not he’s wearing a seatbelt. And it’s not as though seatbelts are a guarantee of survival in a major collision...
London Has Fallen opens across Australia today.