London Has Fallen — Review
I joked to a friend not long ago that Gerard Butler probably can’t wait for ‘London Has Fallen’ to come out so that he can go back to being the guy who stars in regular old bad movies, as opposed to one being publicly ridiculed as exceptionally terrible and offensive. Well ‘London Has Fallen’ may not be the complete mess that ‘Gods of Egypt’ was, but it’s just about as politically incorrect. More on that soon…
The sequel to 2013's ‘Olympus Has Fallen,’ LHF wastes no time in getting the U.S. president (Aaron Eckhart) and his number one secret service agent (the drunk Scotsman from ‘300') over to England for the funeral of Britain’s prime minister. Of course the PM didn’t really die naturally, but was poisoned, so as to arrange for dozens of world leaders to be in one place for a calculated attack. It’s literally seconds after Team America gets out of the car from the airport in London that the shooting and explosions start. And you know how these things go from there…
The proficiency of the action filmmaking ended up being a nice surprise for me in watching this. There’s definitely some corny CGI in the instigating attack and a botched helicopter getaway but after that the action’s fairly well handled — not hyper-edited and even featuring some impressive long takes in the climax.
Now for the politics: so the bad guys are Middle-Eastern, which is generally steered away from in mainstream Hollywood entertainment (lately), what with all the old white actors on hand who aren’t going to offend anyone by orchestrating fictional terrorist plots. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have any movies with Muslim villains, but when Butler tells one of them on a walkie talkie to go back to “Fuck-Head-Istan” I start to worry about the reactions of the people who may be inclined to vote for Donald Trump. After this line Butler kills a helpless guy with a knife so his boss can hear it on the radio. Cause that’s what heroes do. Finally (spoilers here, if you care) the main villain is killed in a drone strike at the very end. Now beyond politics and intended realism of that scenario, it’s not exactly as dramatic as when the hero kills the villain, is it? After all, isn’t that the one guy we really want to see the hero dispose of?
Anyway, the screenplay’s pretty typical, Gerard is a bad actor and his character practically a spoof version of John McClane with plenty of bad jokes to toss around. Just one final thing I’d like to bring up before you go back to forgetting this movie exists (Just never forget about ‘Gods of Egypt,’ okay? Cause then Hollywood wins.): there’s a moment in the first chase sequence when a motorcycle appears behind the presidential SUV. It looks like it’s following them, but the guy hasn’t even fired a shot yet when Gerard does a cool lean out the car door and shoots the poor sucker dead. I mean, it was a possible threat for sure, but couldn’t this guy have just been riding home from work or something? Or maybe running from the same terrorist threat as the president? You know, I guess I’m just saying be careful out there, people. And if you’re considering a motorcycle cruise round the city, maybe give it a quick Google first to make sure Gerard Butler’s not in town.
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