Granger on Movies: ‘London Has Fallen’
Published 3:49 am, Saturday, March 19, 2016
This sequel to “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013) shifts the focus from Washington, D.C., to London, where Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) once again single-handedly protects President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart).
Actually, Banning is thinking of retiring so he can spend more time with his wife (Radha Mitchell) and their expected baby.
Instead of North Korean terrorists, the culprits are from the Middle East, out for revenge over a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan that killed the daughter of international arms dealer Amir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul) at her lavish wedding, where he was the primary target.
“Vengeance must always be profound and absolute,” malevolent Barkawi declares.
Destruction begins on the afternoon of the funeral of the British prime minister, who died unexpectedly during what was supposed to be routine surgery. As television audiences around the world watch in horror, several heads of state are systematically assassinated, while Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament are demolished.
Meanwhile, back home, Vice President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), Secret Service Director (Angela Bassett) and the Secretary of Defense (Melissa Leo) watch the debacle on a video screen in the situation room with their elite advisory cohorts (Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley) .
Scripted by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Christian Gudegast and Chad St. John, it’s helmed by an Iranian-born Swede, Babek Najafi, making his English-language debut. Unfortunately, Najafi ‘s confusing direction of the many action-packed sequences defies credibility. Given the cheesy digital effects, it’s almost impossible to follow who is shooting at whom and where they are.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “London Has Fallen” is a faltering 4, filled with profanity, over-the-top violence and gratuitous sadism.