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London Has Fallen

Coming Soon

In March of 2013 a secret service agent foiled a plot that was to see the President of the United States used as political leverage in an attempt by a group of highly trained Korean terrorists to reunite South Korea and North Korea as one. The person that stood tall against the most brazen White House breach in its history is Mike Banning. Now that all is calm at home since the events of Olympus Has Fallen, it’s time focus on matters abroad as the action thriller sequel heads across the pond as the world faces an entirely new threat. There will be no home court advantage for Mike this time around now that London Has Fallen.
There will always be bad people in the world. Ones that devalue human life, thus making them mere pawns on a chessboard. Most of these people have skewed views on reality and feel it’s their obligation to “right the wrongs” in the world. They are some of the most dangerous threats to society because in their hearts they feel that they are taking honorable actions against the mass oppressors of the world. Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) comes face-to-face once again with a zealot faction with their own skewed agenda on what justice is and how to go about getting it. In London Has Fallen the dangerous crosshairs will not only be on POTUS (Aaron Eckhart), but also on other world leaders which are considered friends to the United States.
After the sudden tragic death of the British Prime Minister, the heads of many nations descend upon England to pay their respects to a fallen ally. It is there that a plan which has been meticulously constructed over a long period of time is put into motion. At the end of the day it is a simple plot of revenge but it’s executed on a large scale with the hopes of changing the world’s entire political landscape. Stranded on foreign land, Mike must keep President Asher alive at all costs from an unknown enemy that comes in many forms. The only thing that is known for sure is that these two are not going down without a fight.
The interesting thing about the “_________ Has Fallen” movies is the decision to NOT shy away from the R rating. In a time where most studios opt to take the more conservative road in order to receive a PG-13 rating which often translates into a greater audience saturation, these two movies buck that trend. It worked out for the original movie back in 2013 when it outearned the bigger budgeted and arguably more star-studded White House Down (2013) which had a very similar plot. This time around however, my gut tells me that the financial outcome will not be so rosy. There’s no doubt about it that R-rated movies are all the talk in Hollywood these days thanks mostly in part to 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool (2016) juggernaut. That being said, it is my personal opinion that London Has Fallen will stumble.
In addition to Butler and Eckhart returning, Morgan Freeman, Robert Forster, Radha Mitchell, Sean O’Bryan and Angela Bassett are a few more familiar faces that will be seen again this second time around as they reprise their supporting roles. Alon Aboutboul plays Aamir Barkawi, who is the top level villain in London Has Fallen. These actors all come together in an attempt to give audiences a well-acted performance. While the acting just fine there’s just something that feels a little off about this sequel. All of the ingredients that made the first film successful are still present and yet it feels as though a key component is missing. I’ve pondered this mystery for about a week since I can’t quite put my finger on what’s off.
My final conclusion is less about what’s off and more about where my current standards lie for an action movie of this caliber. I’m chalking it up to ripple effects from Deadpool. The plot for London Has Fallen is less than original and honestly there’s no real compulsion to care about the fate of the actors. That leaves the entire weight of the film on its action. Thankfully once things start cooking they don’t cool down. There’s violence, a little bit of suspense and even a spatter of humor. This isn’t a bad movie but it does little to make it stand out against the first one. The story was much better the first time around whereas this feels more like a game with flimsy paper parts. It will only be as good as your mood will allow it to be. I say go into it with very modest expectations and you should find yourself feeling entertained. Just don’t expect something new, original and life changing. Check it out in theaters now.

London Has Fallen is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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