Possible spoilers ahead!
It’s no secret that I didn’t care much for “Olympus Has Fallen.” I even named it one of my least favorite movies of 2013. But, for some strange reason my wifey loves the movie, so as a good hubby, I went to see “London Has Fallen” with her.
“London Has Fallen” takes place after the events of “Olympus Has Fallen,” how long after I don’t know. Why? because the events of the first movie are never mentioned. There wasn’t even a line of dialogue like: “Damn, the London attack is worse than the one on D.C.”.
There was nothing, nada, zip. Maybe someone at the studio didn’t like Olympus either?
Anyways, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is now the Secret Service agent in charge of the Presidential Protection Division for U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and former Speaker of the House Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) is now serving as the Vice President. Mike Banning , unbeknownst to the President, is planning to retire from the Secret Service to become a full time husband and father to his wife Leah (Radha Mitchell) aand their soon to be born baby.
But Mike is forced to put his retirement plans on hold when the British Prime Minister dies suddenly, and several leaders from around the world must travel to London to attend the funeral.
While extraordinary security measures and precautions are taken to protect the leaders of the free world in London, it turns out that the Prime Minister’s death was the first step in a master plan orchestrated by the FBI’s #6 most wanted arms dealers/terrorists in the world, Aarmir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul).
Witnin minutes the heart of London is plunged into chaos and it’s up to Mike to get President Asher out of the city and to safety before Barkawi succeeds in publicly assassinating the American President.
“London Has Fallen” attempts to outdo Olympus by making everything bigger and better. And to a degree, the sequel succeeded because unlike its predecessor, I actually enjoyed “London Has Fallen.”
The sequel is bigger in terms of scale, humor, and R-Rated action. Hell, even the CGI is better in the sequel, which made me very happy since I thought it was one of the first film’s biggest flaws.
Gerard Butler’s Mike Banning is a bit more polished in London than he was in the first movie, but he’s still an almost unstoppable killing machine once the action kicks in. Plus this time he’s in more of a buddy cop type movie with Eckhart’s Benjamin Asher. This surprisingly led to some funny banter between the two, even if they seem like an odd couple at times.
One of the few things I liked about “Olympus Has Fallen” was that it found ways to give its excellent supporting characters moments to shine. So I was happy to see the old gang back for the sequel. Sadly, Melissa Leo as the U.S. Secretary of Defense had little to do but watch the action unfold from the Situation Room.
Also wasted were Angela Bassett as Lynne Jacobs, who only gets a few minutes on screen, and Robert Forster as a US Army General. A new (and welcome) addition was Charlotte Riley (“Edge of Tomorrow”) as Jacquelin Marshall, a British MI6 agent who helps Banning and Asher stay alive. I liked her character, I just wish we’d seen more of her.
At least Morgan Freeman was back doing what Morgan Freeman does best. Even if we’ve seen it before. he is always fun to watch.
“London Has Fallen” is a better film than “Olympus Has Fallen,” filled with cheap thrills and plenty of bloody action. Do I recommend you run out and see the film? No, but it is worth a look when it becomes available to watch on blu-ray or Netflix.
“London Has Fallen” final score: 7