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London Has Fallen

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Stars Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart

This movie is the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen a very successful film last year. In London Has Fallen leaders of several sovereign nations are explicitly and violently assassinated on camera. Then half the city of London is blown up particularly, all the “known landmarks”, as opposed to all those unknown ones—and then we spend two hours watching as everyone in the movie is varying degrees of incompetent except for Gerard Butler.

The premise this time is that President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) must attend the funeral of the British prime minister. But as the Royal Navy’s Lord Admiral Ackbar once observed, “It’s a trap!” A Pakistani arms merchant (Israeli actor Alon Moni Aboutboul) seeking revenge for the death of his family in a drone strike has flooded the British capital with hundreds of would-be assassins dressed like cops. The only man POTUS can trust to get him out is Secret Service agent Mike Banning, once again played by Gerard Butler, a vaguely sentient three-day beard who is no better at hiding his Scottish brogue than Sean Connery was, though he sort of tries. Banning’s wife (Australian Radha Mitchell) is expecting their first child any day now; he has been fussing over the diction of a two-sentence email that would announce his resignation from the Secret Service. He is a classic reluctant warrior, minus the reluctance.

As before, he kills scores of people in blurry confrontations; mostly using firearms, but with a marked propensity for stabbing when a tool is available. Most of the key players from Olympus have returned: Morgan Freeman (he was speaker of the House before; in this movie he’s the vice president), Melissa Leo as the secretary of defense, Angela Bassett as the director of the Secret Service, and Robert Forster as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. We also meet Jackie Earle Haley as a Cabinet official or security adviser or something, because what this film clearly needed was one more As in Olympus Has Fallen, the scenes depicting air-toair combat and the resulting damage to centuries-old historic sites are rendered in reassuringly phony-looking CGI. London Has Fallen can’t even muster s realistic level of grim surrealism. It’s a disappointing sequel.

MA 15 plus 6 out of 10