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london has fallen
May 15, 2016 | by  | in Film |
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London Has Fallen (2016)

★½

Director: Babak Najafi

 

London Has Fallen, the sequel to the 2013 blockbuster Olympus Has Fallen, does not necessitate prior knowledge of the recurring characters, nor does it require an appreciation for good cinema. You do need a strong stomach for violence and a predictable plotline.

The film follows the exploits of Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), the Secret Service agent in charge of protecting the US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), as a terrorist plot unfolds in London. The funeral of the British prime minister creates the perfect opportunity for Pakistani arms dealer and terrorist financier Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) to avenge the murder of his family, and he masterminds the assassination of the attending world leaders.

Frankly, I found the film shallow and heavy on the clichés. Banning is a standard action figure with a wonderful and supportive wife and a weakness for patriotism. The death of his colleague, Secret Service agent Lynn Jacobs’ (Angela Basset), is expected. The presence and identity of the mole is anticipated well in advance, and we all know what the finale is going to be—no way the President dies, right? Full of un-spectacular action sequences, nothing positive stood out in this film.

The depiction of the terrorists was very limited and their motivations (aside from those of Aamir and his son Kamran) are not explained at all. There is a very clear divide between the Pakistanis (pigeonholed as evil terrorists) and everyone else (the Western world, thus the good guys), with the exception of the mole. As a piece of media London Has Fallen has the responsibility of portraying a balanced interpretation of every culture, or at least offering an alternative viewpoint, instead of supplementing already fertile tropes. However, that doesn’t happen.

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