Jeri Jacquin

Banning is back with director Babak Najafi and Focus Features trip across the pond with LONDON HAS FALLEN.

Banning (Gerard Butler) is still protecting the President as a Secret Serviceman, enjoying married life with Wife Leah (Radha Mitchell) and now a baby on the way. Deciding that it might be time to leave his current position, he is stopped from writing a resignation letter when the British Prime Minister has died.

President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) wants to attend the funeral and looks to Banning and Lynn Jacobs (Angela Bassett) to set up security. Arriving in London, Banning takes over and immediately heads to the funeral. Pulling up in the limousine mayhem begins as explosion after explosion brings out terrorists who are shooting all the world leaders.

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Vice President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) is immediately informed and a plan is needed to get the President back onto the plane and to the United States. At every turn Banning and President Asher are chased as the goal of leader Barkawi is clear – they want the President to make a public spectacle of a televised execution.

Banning isn’t about to let it happen so prepare for another kind of mayhem!

Butler as Banning has proven he still has the action hero in him. There isn’t much he couldn’t do keeping the President out of the hands of terrorists. Butler has his steely eyed stares and one liners but also doesn’t have a problem taking someone down who is pounding on him.

Eckhart as Asher is a President who definitely relies on his security team, even if its a team of one. There isn’t much to this role except its really irritating when a President doesn’t listen to those protecting him. Eckhart also gives a “I’m an American so screw you” speech but does it more politely than I probably would.

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Morgan gets demoted as only being Vice President in this film. That’s all I could think about seeing him as VP. Bassett once again has a position in the White House; they should just hire her now.

Other cast include Andrew Pleavin as Agent Bronson, Colin Salmon as Chief Hazard, Patrick Kennedy as John Lancaster, Waleed Zuaiter as Kamran Barkawi, Adel Bencherif as Raza Mansoor and Shivani Ghai as Amal Mansoor.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give LONDON HAS FALLEN three tubs of popcorn out of five. I am not a big fan of sequels because I think if a film is truly good there is no need. I enjoyed OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN as a thrill ride of a film and when I walked out it was all good. So honestly LONDON HAS FALLEN is alright – just unnecessary really.

There is plenty of action, plenty of one liners and plenty of hero play to go around. That being said I have to think that the US President in the movie really has no luck what so ever for this to happen twice. In that statement lies the problem with the film – believability.

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So, did I believe that Banning was happily married – no. I didn’t feel any connection between those two characters and I’m sorry, NO pregnant woman who is due in a matter of days would put up with that crap. Did I believe that killing off all the leaders who are attending a funeral would happen – no.

That’s why it’s sometimes hard to review a film like this. It isn’t that it’s bad, it’s just it is more of a been-there-done-that kind of situation with a few suspension of disbelief things added in.

In the end – the world’s leaders have assembles and so have their enemies!