The conventional wisdom for shooting a sequel to a successful action flick is that “bigger is better.” In the case of this bigger-budgeted follow up to Olympus Has Fallen, that translates to bigger guns, more elaborate chase scenes, a higher body-count and more bombastic pyrotechnics, including my favorite staple of the genre: exploding cars careening off cliffs in flames.
Directed by Babak Najafi, London Has Fallen again stars Gerard Butler as Mike Banning, the Secret Service agent in charge of protecting the president of the United States. Also reprising their roles are Radha Mitchell as his wife, Leah; Aaron Eckhart as president Asher; Morgan Freeman as Vice President Trumbull; Angela Basset as Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs; Melissa Leo as Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan; and Robert Forster as General Clegg.
At the point of departure, we find the Bannings picking out paint samples for their first baby’s nursery. Leah is due in a couple weeks, and the prospect of fatherhood has Mike seriously contemplating retirement. But before he has a chance to tender a letter of resignation, word arrives that the British Prime Minister has just passed away unexpectedly.
Over his worried wife’s objections, Mike grudgingly agrees to join the detail accompanying the president to the funeral. Despite very heavy security in London, all hell breaks loose when radical Muslims disguised as Bobbies and Beefeaters open fire, assassinating several of the 28 leaders of the Free World in attendance.
Mike instinctively springs into action, endeavoring to escort the president via limo from Westminster Abbey back to Air Force One. Of course, this is easier said than done, since it’s almost impossible to tell the good guys from the bad, and terrorists armed with automatic weapons and RPGs are lying in wait at every turn.
Also aboard for the hair-raising, roller coaster ride are Director Jacobs, Agent Bronson (Andrew Pleavin), and an MI6 Agent (Charlotte Riley) they encounter along the way.
With the help of cartoon physics and a bulletproof physique, Mike ultimately manages to prevail against the army of bloodthirsty jihadists doing the bidding of the diabolical mastermind, Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul). Let’s just pray that he’s up for a third round of heroic exploits to keep the world safe for freedom and democracy.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity
Running time: 100 minutes
Distributor: Gramercy Pictures
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Visit www.londonhasfallen.com for more movie info. Check local listings for showtimes.