London Has Fallen Review

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It’s worth noting that while I enjoyed the predecessor to London Has Fallen, Olympus Has Fallen, it was still a Die Hard clone. But it had enough well-paced action, likable characters, and plot points to be a somewhat decent flick. London Has Fallen has none of those things.

London Has Fallen stars Aaron Eckhart as the United States President who, like the rest of world leaders, is on his way to a funeral for the British Prime Minister when a massive terrorist attack ensues. Many civilians are killed as the city is slowly torn apart by violence. It is now up to Eckhart`s Secret Service agent and best friend Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) to escort him out of London before he is killed by the terrorists.

My first concern is why they even had the funeral at that specific time. If security arrangements were not perfected yet (as mentioned in the film on multiple occasions) than why not postpone the funeral? If it is not safe for world leaders to gather then just postpone the funeral. However if they were to use too much intelligence then we would have never gotten this convoluted film.

Throughout the film Gerard Butler does this awkward Stallone impression. He constantly talks out of the side of his mouth and spouts one liners that just make me roll my eyes. He has the tough guy action movie persona that I`ve seen a thousand times and is no more charming than the last time you saw it.

So many lines and performances are so carelessly written and given in this film that I could have sworn they were purposely doing so to see if audiences would catch on. At times it seemed like characters were giving their lines as if they just got done laughing off screen. When the initial attack on the world leaders began, a CIA agent addressed their superior about the attack with a certain kind of smirk expression.

The cast is just so emotionally disinterested I don`t know how the filmmakers expect the audience to be invested in them. Just about all the performances are so carelessly acted and scripted that there is no reason to care about any characters.  Even Morgan Freeman cannot escape the bad direction given to him by the monkeys behind this picture. London Has Fallen also makes lousy attempts at making the audience care for the civilians and characters who die in the attack. That attempt as well falls flat.

Most terrorist vs. government films use political and military jargon to continue the plot. London Has Fallen does it at an astonishingly bad level. Since audiences already are not invested in the characters, the mostly confusing plot just becomes more confusing. I mostly just had to shrug and just roll with it.

The action sequences are okay but nothing we have never seen before. They are pretty generic and standard with little to no creativity thrown into them. Bad guy looks at good guy, shoots, misses, good guy shoots and kills bad guy. Throw in some chase scenes and stealthy fights and you have London Has Fallen.

At the beginning of the film we see a U.S. drone strike take out a few conspiring terrorists along with over a hundred civilians killed. This is similar to the near end of the film where the United States locates one of the terrorists in Yemen and executes him by drone strike. With many surrounding civilians hit by the blast and most likely killed. There is also no mourning for any of these civilians. They are not even pictured as or symbolize the casualties of a war, for that would have been too clever. No they are simply just civilians being killed by the U.S. military. This imagery differs greatly from the pro-American views this film proudly holds up, as I would have thought the filmmakers would portray the U.S. as having a little more care and sympathy. Both scenes gave me an eerie feeling that hopefully was not intended.

The film ends by attempting to force a message into the audience about how the United States should not back down from fighting world terrorism going on in other countries. As if the film was pushing this message the entire time and did not just shove it in at the last minute. But when in the course of London Has Fallen hundreds of Middle Eastern civilians are killed by the United States military in two different drone strikes, it does not give me the impression we should keep fighting.

I was extremely dissatisfied with London Has Fallen and its pretentious, forced, incompetent, propaganda. If you’re looking for mindless action with no effort in plot, script, or acting, go watch this movie. If you’re like me and enjoy a little meat or, dare I say it, effort put in films, go watch anything else. Die Hard would suffice.

Zachary Flint

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