There’s a small part of me that wonders if Channing Tatum and Jamie Fox will come out with a movie called “Buckingham Palace Down” in a couple of months.
When I saw Olympus Has Fallen, I remember thinking it was a pretty solid movie. There was nothing all that amazing about it, but Gerard Butler’s character “Mike” was a run-of-the-mill hardcore badass type of character that knew how to brutally disassemble any force that stood between him and protecting the President. As simplistic has Mike was in Olympus Has Fallen, he was an acceptable hero, and I personally found the movie entertaining.
And while I really can’t say London Has Fallen is a terrible movie, I can’t really say it’s all that great either. There’s not a whole lot in the film that’s unforgivable and there’s also not a whole lot in the film that’s exceptional. This movie is a pretty clear and cut definition of “standard” and “by-the-book”.
Gerard Butler is passable in this movie (unlike other trash he’s been in recently) and I genuinely like Mike as a heroic character. He reminds me of Liam Neeson’s “Brian” From Taken, but instead of always saving his daughter from being kidnapped, he’s always saving The President from being kidnapped. He also cusses more. There’s a few scenes where the movie made me enjoy his friendship with The President (played by Aaron Eckhart), and there were also a few gratifying scenes where he brutalizes enemy soldiers.
But aside from that, there really isn’t anything worth remembering about London Has Fallen. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I should care about the story presented to me. The film doesn’t quite get to the point where you feel emotionally invested in any of the characters.
The first twenty minutes of this movie is honestly a waste of time. I was thoroughly disappointed in their decision to start the movie off with the news-footage-montage that welcomes in the starting exposition. There are so many films that do this, and now that I’m at a point where I see 2-4 movies a week, it gets rather cumbersome seeing another movie that does it. Afterwards, we get a few scenes that attempt to make you care about our protagonists and also explain events that set the plot in motion, but none of it is done in an interesting or engaging way. It almost seems like they were trying to mark off a couple of items on their things-to-do list before moving on to the action.
The movie doesn’t get interesting until the action starts happening and we get to see Mike do what he does best. However, halfway through the movie, I just felt like Butler’s character was in a video game where he set the playing difficulty to beginner. There’s very little in the movie that challenges our lead protagonist or brings him to brink of breaking down, and eventually all of the tension dissipates.
There was also this annoying thing in the movie where there were intelligence meetings with government officials, and when they’re all talking, they would cut to certain people and they would place their job title next to them as if identifying the Head-of-NSA or Secretary-of-Defense was a crucial element to the story. But not only do almost all of the characters they place job titles under (they do this at least a dozen times) not have that crucial of a role to play in the grand scheme of the movie, but I found that it took me out of the scene quite a bit. Like great, I now know who the Head-of-British-Security is now… so if you’re not going to give that person any lines, then why is it important enough for me to know?
This movie also kinda sorta has Morgan Freeman in the film, but they gave him even less of a role than they did in Olympus Has Fallen. I also did not find the villain to be all that compelling or menacing.
All in all, London Has Fallen is not that bad of an experience, but I just can’t think of very many good reasons to waste time and money checking it out. I will probably forget about it after a month, and I’m giving this movie a 5 out of 10.