After the death of the British prime minister, the world’s most powerful leaders gather in London to pay their respects. Without warning, terrorists unleash a devastating attack that leaves the city in chaos and ruins. Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) springs into action to bring U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) to safety. When Asher falls into the hands of the sinister organization, it’s up to Banning to save his commander in chief from a horrible fate.
I’m just going to say that I know this is a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen, which I haven’t seen but will soon, so my opinion will be based on that. If I had to guess, the film doesn’t seem to make any references to the previous films but you might want to watch it just to understand the relationship between Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Butler) and U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Eckhart).
The story here this time is after the British prime minister dies mysteriously, the world’s leaders gather in London to attend his funeral. To the surprise of many, terrorists unleash an attack, leaving the ruined city in total chaos. Secret Service agent Mike Banning is sprung into action when he must protect U.S. President Benjamin Asher from all the danger and destruction. Once Asher is taken hostage, it’s up to Banning to save him before it’s too late.
Based on the many trailers, I kind of knew that the whole “London falling” part was going to happen but it felt like it took a little too long before we got there. The film built up to this moment by perhaps emphasizing the impact of the event by focusing on certain people who were attending the funeral who we don’t care about and are just going to die anyway. Once London starting falling, it felt too sudden for me as things just started happening frenetically for seemingly no reason as there was little to no point for the action on screen which often made no sense. This fact alone took me out of the whole experience as I found myself too busy asking myself why. What also took me out of the experience were the bad special effects where you could easily tell that the explosions were fake when the area around them is seemingly unharmed. Just these little details were very disheartening.
If you don’t try to think about it as much, the action scenes were pretty exciting with a good amount of shooting, fighting, driving with the occasional explosion thrown in. I thought the film definitely took advantage of its 14A/R rating with this. They may not have been revolutionary but they were fun to watch. Butler, who has been in many action films in the past, handled himself perfectly here kicking ass and taking names. I couldn’t imagine anyone other than him doing this.
Plot aside, my favorite part of the film has to be the relationship between Banning and President Asher. I thought they had great chemistry and they were fun to watch together running through danger after danger. I really believed in their relationship and that Banning wanted to protect Asher and would go to great lengths to do so. Asher actually got into some of the action which was nice to see as well. I also enjoyed Morgan Freeman here as Vice President Allan Trumbull and his scenes kind of behind the scenes back from the situation room as he was taking care of things back home and negotiating with terrorist leader Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul). I wish we could have had more of these but the focus was on Banning and Asher. Also I was disappointed to figure out that his speech near the end of the trailer (above) was not in the final film.
Overall, if you’re looking for a mindless action movie, then this one may be for you. The action was mildly exciting and Butler was compelling to watch but this was a little too mindless for me.