<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 8, 2016

London Has Fallen Movie Review: It Happens All Over Again

IN 2013, Gerald Butler successfully created Mike Banning, a Secret Service agent who single-handedly rescued U.S. Pres. Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) from North Korean terrorists who attacked the White House. It was a bigger hit at the tills than Channing Tatum’s similarly themed movie, “White House Down”. Now, Butler follows in the footsteps of Bruce Willis as John McClane in the “Die Hard” series in that the same stuff happens to the same guy all over again.

Shown right after the harrowing terrorists attacks in Paris, it’s honestly uncomfortable for us to watch this story of a major European city being demolished by terrorists as a source of action-thriller entertainment. You might say it’s just a movie, but the brutal mass murders shown in this film is definitely not just your usual escapist entertainment but more of exploitation of real life events.

This time, Butler is already planning to resign from his job as his wife is preggy, but then he is assigned to go with Pres. Asher to London to attend the funeral of the British Prime Minister. The main villains are filthy rich Pakistani terrorist Amir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) and his vengeful son Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter). Take note that they’re not portrayed as religious extremists or Muslim ideologists but are arms dealers who want revenge for the death of a relative. They have set up an elaborate plan to trap not just the U.S. president but also other world leaders who are blown up, gunned down and sadistically murdered almost at the same time.
But naturally, the U.S. president manages to escape since Butler is with him. He tries to protect the president the best way he can but, at one point, the terrorists manage to abduct the president. They plan to behead him on live television to shame the U.S. and show their supremacy. Will they succeed? Of course, you already know the answer.

In all fairness to the movie, it offers plenty of action sequences like chase scenes, shootouts in the streets, wide scale explosions. But honestly, it’s not as exciting or rousing as “Olympus Has Fallen”. To begin with, you already have this feeling of deja vu, that we’ve seen it all before, a problem that most action sequels experience. But if this makes money once again, then don’t be surprised if we’d get sequel No. 3. Wonder which famous city they will demolish next.

Here, the way Swedish/Iranian director Babak Najafi (taking over from Antoine Fuqua of the first movie) demolished familiar landmarks by CGI in London like Westminster Abbey and London Bridge is quite ridiculous. But, let’s face it, they have to come up with something really shocking to please action audiences who love this kind of high octane popcorn entertainment. But it’s hard to believe that some of the heads of state who were killed were traveling without much security people protecting them, like the French president traveling on a boat in the Thames River.

Butler really needs a new hit after his other film, “Gods of Egypt”, bombed big time at the tills. The problem with his Banning is that the character is too serious for comfort, unlike Bruce Willis as McClane or the actors who played James Bond, who obviously take their roles more lightly and enjoy wisecracking. Here, the only time Butler cracks a joke was when Eckhart as Pres. Asher emerged from a room and rescues him from some gunmen, and he quips: “I was wondering when you’d be coming out of the closet”. since Eckhart is really portrayed like some damsel in distress.

Returning in the movie are Morgan Freeman as the U.S. Vice President, Angela Bassett (who’ll definitely no longer be in Part 3) and Radha Mitchell who is given her own big scene with a traitor in the parking lot. Melissa Leo and Robert Forster are also reprising their former roles but they were totally wasted doing nothing inside the Pentagon while the crisis in London is going on.