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London Has Fallen (5/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 98 minutes

Not for children.

Although 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen was moderately entertaining, it only ranks 3,106 on the all-time domestic gross list at just under $100 million. Even so, it apparently rates a sequel, and this is it.

Returning with the same cast, Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Radha Mitchell, etc. the producers went through several writers and still couldn’t come up with a script that wasn’t filled with hackneyed dialogue that had my audience of critics rolling in the aisles, and they weren’t laughing with the movie, they were laughing at it. (Spoiler alert) Here are examples of some of the lines:

  1. After President Asher (Eckhart) and his personal Secret Service Agent, Mike Banning (Butler) barely escape a horrifying attack on a funeral in London that claimed the lives of lots of heads of state and are flying away in a helicopter, Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs (Bassett) seriously intones as if revealing a secret not apparent to anyone else, “That was a trap.”
  2. When Mike stabs a terrorist to death, Asher inquires, “Was that really necessary?”
  3. When Mike drinks a bottle of water, “I’m thirsty as F---,” apparently a homage to vulgarian Judd Apatow.
  4. When Asher is captured and facing decapitation by his captor, the captor hears some fighting and says, “What was that?” Asher says, “That was the sound of inevitability.”
  5. When the bad guys keep anticipating the good guys’ every move, MI6 Agent Jacqueline Marshall (Charlotte Riley) says, in the only line she uttered I could understand, “There’s got to be someone on the inside!”
  6. When some armed guys surround the house where Asher and Mike are hiding, they are pulled up on a TV screen on security cameras. Mike asks Jacqueline to zoom in and he deduces that they are the bad guys because, “They are not sweating.”

I’m just scratching the surface here. One would hope that these were intentionally inserted by the writers as comic relief to the tension, but, alas, they were all uttered in complete seriousness.

But that’s not all there is to criticize. To start off with, the filmmakers begin the story with the U.S. drone bombing the wedding of an arms dealer (not a Jihadist) in which lots of innocent people are killed. This is to set the stage for the revenge attack that’s the subject of the movie. This is typical leftwing Hollywood, as if Islamic militants beheading Christian “infidels” and crucifying children isn’t enough to make them the enemy and the bad guys attacking London to take over the world. Hollywood has to give them a different reason and ensure that they aren’t Islamic Jihadists. Hollywood doesn’t have the guts to take on Islamic terrorists directly.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. During WWII Hollywood movies clearly designated Nazis and Japanese as the enemy. Today they cower from designating our true enemy, Islamic terrorists.

True to the filmmakers political POV, when they show a TV announcer, it’s virulent leftwing extremist ideologue Lawrence O’Donnell bringing the news to the world (uncredited, incidentally). Having a guy like this just spits in the face of innocent filmgoers who don’t want to be constantly bombarded with a partisan domestic political agenda.

Also, this is yet another film with automatic rifles that shoot thousands of bullets without needing reloading and only hit the bad guys. Although I wasn’t counting, Mike successfully avoids at least 500,000 rounds aimed at him during the course of the movie. But when he shoots, people at whom he isn’t even aiming fall over dead.

On the positive side the attack on London has wonderful special effects that could have been worth the price of admission had the rest of the movie had anything to offer.