It’s been three years and hearing about a sequel that is set in London where I’ve happened to visit a couple of times made me immediately excited to see where those two actors and characters could go when they’re not confined to the White House. One thing to note early on is that the movie has an incredibly violent, F-bomb this, F-bomb that attitude, which is incredibly rare but exciting to see in an action film. I was just having some wings and a beer the other night with a group of friends, and we all agreed that action films are still too watered down, and were all excited at the fact that when Gerard Butler shoots someone in the head, their head explodes, rather than a PG13 Bond film where they just fall to the ground with little or no blood.
Even though I feel like in ordinary circumstances I should dock a point for its lack of story I will give it a pass because recent action films like Mission Impossible 5 and Spectre are examples of 2 1/2 hour action films that honestly don’t know when to shut up and have a good shoot out, car chase, etc. I once saw an over three hour rough cut of Transformers 4 and I didn’t feel why it needed to be two ours, let alone its two and a half hour cut release. It’s probably sad that I still don’t understand the plot of Transformers 4. While I’m scared it could be overdone, I’m really loving the fact that Hollywood is seemingly now embracing an R rating. Deadpool was a straight 10/10 that has now become a worldwide phenomenon. While two totally different kind of films, they follow the same magical structure of simplicity.
In the beginning we realize that Butler is planning to retire and start his family, having a baby on the way. Eckhart once again comes across as a really fun, hip, down-to-earth president still leading the likes of Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, and Melissa Leo. It was really great to see all the actors return, even if some of them spent most of their time semi-sidelined. Like seriously Morgan Freeman didn’t need to sit down all the time, but it was nice to see Angela Bassett somewhat in the action. Right before turning in his resignation, a foreign leader passes away, sending Eckhart and Butler to London, where all the world’s leaders, of course, happen to be together, and things of course go really wrong, really quickly. Then the plot is pretty much just keep the president alive for the next 90 minutes. What’s great about the action in these films is that its all set within a day, even giving you the time in the bottom left hand corner, keeping it refreshing, and me on the edge of my seat. I was very glad to see they didn’t spend 150 million dollars filming in all these locations around the world. We’re in London and it’s a time crisis. Basically, the movie’s only fault where I almost had to dock it, was knowing that these villains seem to pull off one of the biggest underground acts of terrorism ever, which is incredibly far-fetched that there was simply a mole on the inside to pull off. At the same time, instead of a two and a half hour over talked action film, I got 99 minutes of pure adrenaline, so I’m totally fine with that.
The action really starts within the first ten minutes and does not stop until the end. From helicopter chases to car chases to shootouts to bombings, even a chase in an underground subway, each and every action scene delivers on every level. Also, it should be noted that they had money this time to add proper visual effects. The first movie’s effects rivaled that of “Sharknado” but here they had a great blend of stunt work, real cars blowing up, real practical effects, and visual effects. I keep mentioning the chemistry between the two leads, but it should also be noted that since its not their first rodeo, they have fun and offer some comedic relief throughout the film.
All in all, I think its by far one of the best action movies I’ve seen in a good long time. It’s not following in Deadpool’s footsteps, but it is a nice treat for action fans who want the guts and the glory of a R rating. It’s also nice just to hear the F bomb dropped more than once. Yes, I would have liked better villains as well as a little more of the side characters, since they’re talented actors, but it didn’t even matter because it was a damn good time at the movies. Definitely recommend the movie, and even give the first one a rewatch since it’s been a while. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Gerard Butler several times in my years in Hollywood, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, he is the most kind, humble, and friendly guy in the business. He’s just a class act. I did get to meet Aaron Eckhart a while back at the premiere of Battlefield: Los Angeles and from his behavior towards fellow actors and others, he’s also a gentleman. Be sure to catch London has Fallen when it hits a theater near you.
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Written by Kory Davis