Thursday, March 3, 2016

London Has Fallen Is An Energetic Political Thriller

By Darlene Donloe

London Has Fallen, opening nationwide March 4, tells the harrowing tale of how a devastating attack takes place in London while the world’s most powerful leaders have gathered to pay respects at the funeral of the British prime minister.

The attack, which decimates Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, leaves several of those heads of state dead and the president of the United States in a precarious position.

The attack is in retaliation for an attack two years earlier that killed the family of a Pakistani arms dealer. He and an indeterminate Middle East faction are determined to make the West pay. His objective is to not only kill the world’s leaders, but to kill U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) slowly and painfully on live television.

(l-r) Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart 

The arms dealer should have first spoken to Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) the president’s Secret Service agent.  Banning puts James Bond and Jason Bourne to shame. He’s a one-man wrecking crew with a wicked sense of humor and some great one-liners like: “Why don’t you pack up your shit and head back to F***headistan?”

He also gets patriotic and political when whipping up on a terrorist. “Assholes like you have been trying to kill us for a long time. But in a thousand years we’ll still be here.”

He’s a sharp-shooter and is rather proficient with a knife. He’s unafraid and has no problem charging, head first, into the fray.

Morgan Freeman

Babak Najafi's action, crime, thriller is a bit over the top. It’s loud. It’s fast. It’s violent. It’s implausible.  It’s also unbalanced politically in America’s favor.  No surprise there.

The film is already getting blown up (pun intended) for being a racist “terrorsploitation” fantasy with the intent to instill worldwide fear after the Paris attacks. Then again, almost any movie having to do with terrorism could do the same kind of mental damage.

While it does play on some of our fears, the film also shows the world’s vulnerability.  It highlights how our lives have changed in the wake of not only 911, but every terrorist attack that has been successful or thwarted in recent years.

(l-r) Gerard Butler and Angela Bassett, who plays Lynne Jacobs

However, lets not get it twisted!  At the end of the day, London Has Fallen is not a documentary. It's a fictionalized portrayal.

This sequel to the 2013 film Olympus Has Fallen is the latest in the series. 

Subconsciously, it looks like everything is falling.

Morgan Freeman plays Vice President Trumbull, a no-nonsense politician who refuses to play games with the terrorist.  Angela Bassett plays Lynne Jacobs, a security advisor who warns the president not to go to London because there isn't enough time to do advance work. Although neither actor has a lot to do in the film, both hold their own.  

This is a good popcorn movie chock full of some high-octane cinematic fun!

London Has Fallen, directed by Babak Najafi, stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Radha Mitchell, Sean O'Bryan, Charlotte Riley and Waleed F. Zuaiter. 

RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes
MPAA: Rated R 
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), London Has Fallen gets an L (likeable) for fun, entertainment and action.

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