We’re barely into March, and already I think we’ve found Donald Trump’s favourite film of the year.
In “London Has Fallen” the British Prime Minister has died suddenly and world leaders are converging on St Paul’s Cathedral in London for the state funeral. A quiet, solemn and dignified affair. At least, that’s until international arms dealer and terrorist Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) and his murderous and vengeful family have other plans. Soon-to-be father Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) has the job of leading the protection team for the US president (Aaron Eckhart) and its fair to say he has his hands full. Barkawi has inserted an army of comrades into the city and his intent is to execute the president live on the internet. Can Banning stop him?
“London Has Fallen” is the sequel to “Olympus Has Fallen”; the more entertaining of two virtually identical 2013 movies with terrorists seizing the White House (the other being “White House Down” aka ‘the one with the black president’). “Olympus Has Fallen” had the same mixture of Taken-style violence, but had a more coherent and realistic plot. In the sequel, every VNALI (Vaguely Non-American Looking Individual) is assumed to be a terrorist and promptly slaughtered. VNALI’s are wily creatures, dressing as police officers and promptly undoing years of ethnic diversity recruitment by the Met Police.
The script sinks to similar depths. “F*** You” shouts a VNALI to Banning, half through the side window of his SUV. “No, F*** You” replies Banning as he swerves the car into a pillar. You get the idea. The action is pretty non-stop but when it does stop it stops with a bump, with some pretty banal scenes and clunky lines for ‘character development’.
The count of machine-gun wielding VNALI corpses vs unscathed hero reaches ludicrous proportions in the absurd finale. A big case of more is less.
Whilst a lot of the film is actually filmed in Sofia in Bulgaria, many of the London shots are all over the place continuity wise. Turning left out of Somerset House to get to St Pauls? No, I don’t think so!
The film is not totally without merit. Morgan Freeman, as Vice President Trumbell delivers his lines like a honey poured over a large blueberry muffin. And the always watchable Angela Bassett is class as Banning’s friend and presidential aide.
The overall feeling of the film however is one of overt xenophobia that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Trump Rating: FFFFF.
Fad Rating: Ff.