First of all, Gerard Butler’s Mike Banning is a terrible Secret Service agent. Could you imagine a world in which the First Lady is killed and the President of the United States had been captured… twice? Okay, technically Banning was working for the Treasury Department when the events of the 2013 film Olympus Has Fallen took place, but whatever – the fictional American people of this series deserve a better fictional Secret Service. I hope whomever runs to succeed President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) realizes that he or she will probably be taken hostage at some point.
London Has Fallen is not a “fun” movie, even though it certainly thinks it’s fun. For the life of me, I have no idea how anyone thinks watching almost every notable landmark in London explode and watching hundreds of innocent people shot constitutes as “fun.” This is stuff that has actually happened… in London. I was in the mood for a good action movie, but instead it just all felt so unsettling.
Also unsettling: How unbelievably racist this movie is. Yes, there is radicalized religious terrorism in the world. I live in New York City. I see the defense mechanisms against such actions every day of my life. But when Mike Banning grabs a man of Middle Eastern descent by the neck and lectures him about what “you guys” get wrong about Americans, it all feels very ugly.