(US - 2016)
Directed by Babak Najafi. Written by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedict, Christian Gudegast, and Chad St. John. Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Charlotte Riley, Colin Salmon, Waleed Zuaiter, Patrick Kennedy, Sean O'Bryan, Clarkson Guy Williams, Bryan Larkin. (R, 99 mins)
This sequel to 2013's OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN has a giant "America! Fuck yeah!" boner swelled to a degree the likes of which we haven't seen since the flag-waving RAMBO sequels and Chuck Norris action movies of the Reagan era. Playing out like what your conservative, Fox News-watching uncle imagines the war on terror to be, LONDON HAS FALLEN has a script that took four credited writers to assemble and may have even been given a final polish by Donald Trump, judging from shouted dialogue like "Just assume everybody is one of those terrorist assholes!" and "Why don't you boys pack up your shit and go back to Fuckheadistan?" Like the first film, it's an acceptably dumb action time killer and yet another attempt to make Gerard Butler a thing, with the star and producer dropping endless action hero bon mots as Mike Banning, the top Secret Service agent to President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart). Banning and his wife Leah (Radha Mitchell) are expecting their first child and he's just started his vacation and is considering resigning his detail when the President receives word that the British Prime Minister has died of a sudden heart attack following knee surgery. With all the world leaders and dignitaries converging on London for the funeral (of course, the establishing aerial shot of Big Ben, the London Eye ferris wheel, the Palace of Westminster, and the Westminster Bridge over the Thames is accompanied by the caption "London"), the time is right for a massive terrorist attack, which Banning's Spidey Sense naturally detects ("What's wrong?" he's asked, grunting "Nothin'...bugs the hell outta me"). Almost every landmark in London is blown up using what appears to be an explosion app on director Babak Najafi's phone, and when every world leader is killed except for the new PM and Asher, Banning and the President are on the run, pursued throughout London by the interchangeably swarthy, ISIS-like flunkies of Yemen-based terror mastermind Aamir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul). Barkawi has spent two years planning this highly coordinated attack as revenge for a US military drone attack that took out his daughter on her wedding day and left one of his sons a double amputee. Banning manages to get Asher to an MI-6 safe house run by Agent Marshall (Charlotte Riley), who correctly assumes that someone in the British government is a mole working for Barkawi and that the Prime Minister was murdered.