London Has Fallen (R)
17/03/16 21:44 Filed in: 2016
Directed by: Babak Najafi
Starring: Gerard Butler
The below comments (in Black) were originally tweeted in Real-time from the back row of a movie theater and appear @BackRoweReviews. Though efforts were made to tease rather than ruin this movie’s memorable lines and moments, some spoilers may exist in the following evaluation (in Red). For concerns over objectionable content, please first refer to one of the many parental movie guide websites. All ratings are based on a four star system. Happy reading!
“Vengeance must always be profound...and absolute.”
#GerardButler and #AaronEckhart are in a “presidential race.” Yuk, yuk.
#KevlarMatress It’ll sell.
“40 different countries with 40 different security teams.” What could possibly go wrong?”
“Nobody knows. That’s why it’s a surprise.” The way security should be.
Amazing FX on the bridge demolition.
How many times does the president have to be told to keep his head down?
“They only have to get it right once.” Frightening reality.
“Mr. President, those better be comfortable shoes.” #PresidentialRace 2.0.
“Never criticize, always encourage.” Words to live by.
“I was wondering when you were going to come out of the closet.” Hilarious!
“They should’ve brought more men.” Yeah!
“I won’t justify your insanity to make you feel better about yourself.” #PresidentialSteel
“The worst option is to do nothing.” So true.
Final analysis: a slow start turns into a decent actioner with a frighteningly topical story.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 4. Will this film perform well enough to justify a trilogy? How about #ISISHasFallen?
London Has Fallen, sequel to Olympus Has Fallen (2013), features the same lead characters from the first film: the U.S. President’s security chief Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), U.S. Vice President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart). Unfortunately, the sequel also employs the same basic plot as the original, with the only major twist being that the action takes place over the pond. The story sets up with the leaders of forty countries attending a funeral in London (and isn’t that just asking for it?) and the ensuing destruction that occurs when a well coordinated terrorist attack kills hundreds and razes several key buildings inside the city. The rest of the movie is one protracted pursuit with terrorists chasing Asher and Banning through the city in a series of action segments, including: frequent firefights and fistfights, motorcycle chases and a spectacular building demolition. Whereas the action is taut, the plot is not. Besides the characters stumbling out of a helicopter crash as if they’d just gotten off a Tilt-a-Whirl (and why don’t they have parachutes on a presidential chopper?), the fact that Asher and Banning emerge from the movie’s perpetual bullet storm without so much as a graze defies credulity. The dialog is also daffy at times, i.e., the “presidential race” and “coming out of the closet” gags which are clearly played for laughs. Beyond all of its standard action movie silliness, however, Fallen 2 is a frighteningly topical (perhaps unintentionally since the movie was filmed prior to the terror attacks in Paris) story that taps into very real fears over the growing radical elements in our modern world. The movie’s underlying, unspoken message is that our foes are clever and don’t mind playing the long game in order to secure a victory. The sad truth is that individuals dedicated to the destruction of others will find a way to accomplish their mission, regardless of how long it takes or how hard it is to execute (we saw this tragically demonstrated on 9-11). This hint of social significance is really the only thing that prevents this film from becoming yet another mindless action flick. The performances are solid but are largely dialed in (even the great Morgan Freeman plays his character exactly as you’d expect him to) and the direction by Babak Najafi is prosaic when evaluated alongside the typical film in its genre. So will we see another city fall in the future (Paris is off limits…forever)? The film’s performance at the box office will have major implications for the future of the franchise, but judging from this middling and formulaic entry, the series looks like it’s fallen and can’t get up.