Running Time: 99 mins
Director: Babak Najafi
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
Genre: Action, Thriller
Banning’s back! This time he’s taking the terrorist party on the road as President Asher finds himself in yet another line of fire that only Mike can stop. After the death of the British Prime Minister, World Leaders gather in London for the funeral. What starts off as a National Day of Mourning quickly becomes a Global one as an enormous attack takes place killing dozens of politicians, hundreds of civilians and sees Banning and Asher on the run.
London Has Fallen follows a tried and tested formula not just for action sequels but for “Has Fallen” plot points. First act: minimal character development, ridiculously large terrorist attack, action, action, action. I’ve made no secret of it. I liked Olympus Has Fallen. For all its problems it was a seriously entertaining ride through a world that not’s likely to ever be an issue. London Has Fallen is different. The change of director has never been more noticeable than it is here. Where Fuqua was able to find moments for the characters inside the storm, Najafi doesn’t seem to understand the characters he’s playing with. The script can largely be credited to CTL + C and CTL + V, but whomever was responsible for the dialogue needs to be the first person killed in Has Fallen 3 as not only is it hideously cringe-worthy but goes against character on almost every occasion. I love a good expletive as much as the next motherfucker but it is not OK to simply drop F bombs in when articulation fails. It’s especially not OK for President Asher to throw fucks around like they’re confetti and even less for Banning to toss them POTUS’ way. I don’t care how friendly they have become since the attack on the White House; a Secret Service Agent of Banning’s standing would remember who he is talking to and behave accordingly.
|Wait for people to disembark before trying to board the train you fucking animal!|
The script also betrays Banning in a handful of action scenes. It’s fine for him to forcefully physically interrogate a downed (would-be) assassin. He’s against the clock, outmanned and outgunned. He needs to use whatever he’s got to level the playing field. What’s not OK is for him to take the amount of pleasure from it he appears to do. Secret Service do not draw their weapons unless they intend to fire. They understand the cost of a life, and I sincerely don’t think Mike Banning would find the fun in physical interrogation; regardless of who it’s on.
The entire script feels dangerously close to a Right Wing propaganda flyer. Foreigners are evil. Enjoy killing muslims, U.S.-fuckin’-A is the greatest, let’s bomb shit. Visually it’s a videogame. It’s more of a videogame than Gamer which was set in a videogame; to the point were it pulls you out of the movie. The terrorists seem to respawn upon death because they are, without doubt or exaggeration, absolutely-fucking-everywhere. It’s ridiculous.
There are some nice moments. The action holds up. It still looks good, and sounds loud. It has a lot to thank Fuqua for as he set the tone for how ballsy these movies were going to be but they’ve put a director in charge who doesn’t understand the characters, is out of his depth, and honestly not good enough to make this movie anything more than a black and white photocopy of the original.