London Has Fallen

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I didn’t care much for Olympus Has Fallen, and bringing the talented cast back for London Has Fallen…I went in with low expectations. They were met.
It had some interesting set pieces, but as we’re watching everything in London blow up, I’m wondering…how are we supposed to feel about thousands of innocent people dying? Ever since 9/11, and realizing thousands died from two buildings collapsing, you’re conscious of those types of numbers in these goofy action pictures where building after building blow up, killing thousands around them. Yet we’re supposed to be happy, because our President escaped by the skin of his teeth.
I’m also wondering, as the President (Aaron Eckhart) and his top Secret Service Agent (Gerard Butler) run through the streets (like something out of Escape From New York or The Purge, where everyone on the streets wants to kill them)…why are two Oscar winners and two Oscar nominees (Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley) just sitting back at the White House staring at screens, and occasionally giving us expository dialogue? There was a 5th Oscar nominee, Angela Bassett as the Secret Service Director, that was given a bit more to do. A 6th Oscar nominee played the President! This might be the worst movie in history to have six Oscar nominees.
Anyway, Bassett’s character is going to be the godmother to Gerard Butler’s new baby. Oh, and for some reason, because he’s having a baby, he’s going to put in his letter of resignation. I’d also like to know if Agent Mike Banning (Butler) is the best Secret Service guy ever, or the worst. After all, this is now the second time the President has been kidnapped on his watch.  Although he does do an amazing job of kicking butt and killing everyone in his path to rescue him. Perhaps when he resigns, he’ll be Liam Neeson in the Taken films. A family man that has to periodically go and rescue his kidnapped kids.
I noticed a few critics have taken this movie to task because director Antoine Fuqua isn’t involved. Well, he didn’t do a good job with the first one (despite audience reaction and box office receipts, in which it brought in over $150 million).  This is Swedish director Babak Najafi’s first English film.
This story involves the President heading to London for the funeral of the British Prime Minister. Since there are 40 heads of state, that’s when terrorists decide to strike. This is revenge for a drone strike that killed a few family members of a terrorist years earlier. What’s hard to figure out is how so many of the police and other security detail, were actually working for terrorists.
When I was in England, I watched the changing of the guards. I’m guessing it’s not that easy for two of them to be marching with the rest, and just pull out machine guns and start mowing people down. The terrorist attack shown here would’ve needed thousands of terrorists involved, and everything going right. Not one person would’ve been caught planting bombs in the various landmarks. Yet there are so many plot holes, I won’t bore you with the details of them all.
A few of the jokes sort of worked. One of them involves the President jumping out of a closet to shoot a terrorist before he kills Butler. He responds, “I knew you’d come out of the closet sometime.”
Usually the jokes were the standard cliche of one character responding with something that was said earlier. For example, the agent tells the President he is made of “bourbon and bad decisions.” So later, after the President shows he can be a bit of a bad-ass when push comes to shove,  responds with the same phrase.
The movie is a bit politically incorrect, but I’m guessing nobody will have a problem with that. Not that they should. They should have a problem with all the idiotic things on screen. This was $100 million dollar budget, that went up in flames on the Thames.
I’ll give it 1 star out of 5, for Gerard Butler coming to Camp Pendleton to meet with military families and showing the film. He was nice to the reporters and families he spent time with, and I wish him the best in his career. Yet we just had to watch him in the awful Gods of Egypt last week, and now this. He really needs a better agent.
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