HOLLYWOOD—Sometimes a sequel can indeed be better than the original, and in this case, it certainly looks like, “London Has Fallen” set the stage for a big, bolder, bloodier and more popcorn fun flick than its predecessor “Olympus Has Fallen.” Yes, movie lovers have seen plenty of movies where The White House was under attack or the President of the United States was in harm’s way, but this 2013 R-rated flick was loads of fun.
Many of you might recall a similar flick that year, “White House Down” starring Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum; it was pretty identical to “Olympus Has Fallen.” But it’s important to point out, “Olympus Has Fallen” exceeded expectations way higher than those of “White House Down.” Fast-forward to three years later, and we have “London Has Fallen’ which sees the return of action-aficionado Gerard Butler as the disgraced agent who saved the POTUS portrayed by Aaron Eckhart.
This time around Mike Manning (Butler) and Benjamin Asher (Eckhart) are in London attending the funeral for British Prime Minister James Wilson who has died alongside other dignitaries. An explosive battle of vengeance erupts courtesy of arms dealer Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) who is seeking vengeance for an attack that killed his family. The United States suspected Barkawi vanished as well, but that is not the case. If you’re going to plan an attack to kill a terrorist, it might be best to be certain the job was completed 100 percent before hoping for that happily ever after.
I mean this is a movie that features an all-star cast including Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Melissa Leo and Jackie Earle Haley to name a few. Are the actors and actresses delivering Oscar-caliber performances? Of course not, but they do indeed fit the roles they portray.
The script does indeed have a bunch of silly dialogue; I mean some of the one-liners are so bad I thought my 3-year-old niece came up with ideas for the movie. But that is the point of such a movie; it knows precisely what it’s doing to keep the audience entertained. Some could argue the intensity of the narrative is not as well staged this time around. “Olympus Has Fallen” was helmed by “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua, but this time around directorial duties were passed on to Babak Najafi who is a relative newcomer to the American film industry.
What makes “London” such a treat is the high-tech gadgetry that seems terrifying if a real-life assassination plot were to be enacted. These terrorists use tactics and ideas that should really open the minds of Americans regarding our safety not only domestically, but internationally.
They have one goal in mind and one goal only: to murder the POTUS on live television. To make such things happens, epic gun battles, explosions, car chases and a bevy of twists and turns playout throughout the movie that leaves the spectator glued to his or her theater seat. It’s fun people, a whole lot of fun. Anytime you can get Bassett to emit expletives you have a flick that is entertaining.
While there will be plenty of pundits who will argue that “London” falls short of “Olympus,” I would make the argument that I had more fun this time around watching the action unfold on international waters. Of course, the movie sets the stage for a third installment in the franchise which I’m certain we will see in the near future with Gerard Butler back in the driver seat as the hero all Americans would love to have stand by their side.