Friday, March 4, 2016

Movie with Abe: London Has Fallen

London Has Fallen
Directed by Babak Najafi
Released March 4, 2016

For those crazy people who thought that “Olympus Has Fallen” deserved a sequel, here it is. Looking back, I realize that I never wrote a full review of the first film, instead choosing to summarize it a bit more kindly than I remember it as part of my post in which I gave away a Blu-Ray DVD combo pack courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. I described it as an energetic thrill ride that might not be the brainiest or most logically supportable movie of the year. Multiply the latter sentiment by the highest number you can think of and you have this highly unnecessary and absurd sequel.

After (spoiler) successfully stopping North Korea from invading the White House and ending the United States of America as we know it, Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is now a father-to-be, thinking of turning in his resignation to spend more time with his wife and child. Naturally, that gets put on hold when he travels with the president (Aaron Eckhart) to London for the Prime Minister’s funeral. Understandably, vengeful terrorists have actually set a trap to take out a number of world leaders, and it’s up to Mike to single-handedly stop them and save the president.

All the excess and over-the-top action in the first film is amplified tremendously in this sequel that also doesn’t much let up. It does, however, go way too far on way too many occasions to be remotely believable. The entertainment value suffers because it’s just too much to take. Somehow, a band of terrorists operating out of another country have managed to attain the security details for multiple international dignitaries, and they have infiltrated the British police force in preposterously high numbers that make it so that they nearly outnumber the true cops. It’s a lot to take.

This film is considerably more fun when digested with a large bag of popcorn, as this reviewer did when it was screened earlier this week. It’s mindless entertainment that serves little purposes but still enthralls minimally. The experience will be bettered if audience members are applauding frequently, since there’s no other way to really absorb this inane film. The film’s best line, “Prepare for sacrificing,” uttered by pilots of a nearby helicopter when it becomes clear that the president is in imminent danger, exemplifies this film’s belief that it is much smarter than it is. No one should go in expecting that, and maybe this silly shoot-em-up blockbuster will prove satisfying.


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