Review: ‘London Has Fallen’

London Has Fallen

London Has Fallen | Babak Najafi | March 4, 2016

Donald Trump would thoroughly enjoy London Has Fallen. That being said, the sequel to surprise hit Olympus Has Fallen, takes two steps back with its big-headed approach to what is supposed to be a sensitive subject.

London Has Fallen kicks off at a wedding party for the daughter of a notorious war criminal. Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) was the mastermind for a bombing that recently took place in Europe. Barkawi pleads his innocence by simply reminding us that he is a supplier and he does not do any of the actual killings. During this party, a U.S. drone attacks the party, which accidentally kills his daughter, cripples his son and himself. The Barkawi family vow to take revenge on America.

Several years later after the attack, The Prime Minister of Great Britain dies in his sleep and the funeral is to be set at Westminster. President Ben Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and all the foreign leaders of the world are summoned to mourn in unity. Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), the hero of the first film, returns as President Asher’s Secret Service agent. Banning, who is due to be a father, is now a changed man. As the news of the Prime Minister death is being circulated, Banning pens down his letter of resignation on his computer, but is put on hold due to the incident. Protecting Asher in London is set to be his final mission.

Arriving at the funeral, a series of cataclysmic events has London in shambles; all the foreign leaders of the world are dead except President Asher. Banning, with the help of an MI-6 operative (Charlotte Riley) who trusts no one, must find a way to bring The President to safety.

London Has Fallen Still

This movie has zero redeeming qualities and is a sad excuse for Hollywood executives to cash in a quick penny. The same can be said about its predecessor but with director Antoine Fuqua at the helm, the film was molded into a stylish action thriller. Fuqua was replaced with Babak Najafi who was erroneously underwhelming in his American film debut.

The film was riddled with poor editing, which led to amateurish set pieces. Ed Wild’s cinematography and use of CGI looked like it was made from a free app on a cellular phone. What bothered me most was the lack of actual power from the stars. Actors like Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo and Robert Forster were heavily underused. They literally paid Melissa Leo to make dramatic facial expressions and about a line of dialogue.

In Olympus Has Fallen, Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart made for a decent bromantic tandem, but this time their relationship goes to complete waste. The work from the screenwriting team of Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Chad St. John and Christian Gudegast is the icing on the cake to this disaster of a film. This movie is swimming in cheesy clichéd dialogue on top of jingoistic and xenophobic themes. It is upsetting to see other countries of the world being belittled, while The United States happens to be the only survivor and this notion is constantly jabbed into your stomach during its painful duration of ninety minutes, most of this spewing through the mouth of an American badass who can barely hide his Scottish accent.

People consider Call of Duty as the Bud Light of video games, the same can be said about London Has Fallen. It is crass, utterly and violently patriotic. I found it to be very offensive and it could not have been released at a worse time than now, amidst a political campaign in which this could be used to fuel more hateful indifference.

Rating: 2.0/10