Saturday, December 10, 2016

Now on Netflix: London Has Fallen (2016)

London Has Fallen movie poster
London Has Fallen (2016) - Directed by Babak Najafi; Written by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Bendikt, Christian Gudegast, Chad St. John; Starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Radha Mitchell, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo.

By Kenny Howell

Olympus Has Fallen was nearly unwatchable, so, naturally, they made a sequel.

However, I am here to report,  IS watchable. It's just not very good.

Part of the reason it is a little better than the first film is that it stopped taking itself so seriously. Olympus Has Fallen spent most of its time trying to find tattered American flags among the destruction to hold on while overly dramatic music played. Or it had a high ranking cabinet official being dragged away by a terrorist why she said the Pledge of Allegiance.

It was so overly GO USA SPORTS TEAM that it went way past silly. I love the USA, but it was definitely laying it on thick. And while London Has Fallen has a moment or two of that (the President gives the oath of office while in peril?), it focuses more on what it needs to - Gerard Butler (Movie 43) shooting and stabbing people repeatedly in a very ruthless over the top way.

London Has Fallen is incredibly violent, not gory really, just non stop murdering. It felt like a throwback to 1980s actioners like Commando or any of the Rambo films, not anywhere near as "good", but willing to go that extra step to bring the excitement. It definitely keeps it above water when the more saccharine moments set in.

In this one, the British Prime Minister has passed away, so leaders from all over the world go to London for the funeral. Even though it is the most secure city in the world because of all the intelligence and security agencies in the city, terrorists have infiltrated and begin an all out assault in hopes to capture the President of the United States, once again played by Aaron Eckhart (I, Frankenstein) and kill him. But the President's Scottish-American secret service badass Mike Banning played by Butler is kind of a killing machine.

It goes without saying that perhaps this administration isn't the most effective of battling terrorism because this is twice now that absolutely horrible terrorist attacks have been played out in their presence. Banning may not be the best at not letting the president get abducted either, but he is pretty good at getting him back and only nearly killing him, instead of actually killing him.

London Has Fallen is not good, I would have a hard time arguing for that. But it is on Netflix right now, and Butler shoots a lot of people real good in it. If you want to turn the mind off for a minute and just see a bunch of explosions and extreme violence, you could probably do a lot worse.

Rating: *1/2

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