by ALEX PEREZ/Staff Writer
The city of London is seized by a group of highly trained terrorists while the world’s most powerful leaders are being picked off one by one, leaving the city in ruins and the president of the United States on the run.
In the beginning of “London Has Fallen,” the over-the-top sequel to “Olympus Has Fallen,” Mike Banning, the courageous and brave Secret Service Agent (Gerald Butler), Vice President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and Lynne Jacobs (Angela Basset, Secret Service director) advise U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) to be cautious about going to London following the death of the British Prime ministers. Despite their concerns, President Asher continues to go out of respect, along with 40 other world leaders, (because what’s a “Secret Service” movie without a sketchy situation that the president refuses to see is there?).
Once in London, President Asher is about to enter the church, then the scene switches to the Prime Minister of Italy with his young girlfriend on the roof of a beautiful castle overlooking the city. The Prime minister of Japan is impatiently waiting in traffic on the bridge, while the Prime Minister of France is sipping on champagne in his luxury boat, all of them oblivious to what is about to happen.
All at once, a high-scale terrorist attack pops off, bombing all sites where the prime ministers are, turning the city of London into an all-out war zone and killing the world leaders one by one. As the boom of the explosions is heard, the rogue police officers on the ground shoot down everybody in sight, including civilians and children. Mike Banning goes into G.I. Joe mode and hurriedly protects the president from the flying bullets directly aimed at him. This is the first gory scene, as blood splatters from bullet wounds and dead bodies cover the church steps as the U.S. presidential team escapes.
They get into the car and are soon chased down by the assassins sent by the infamous terrorist, Aamir Barkawi, played by Alon Aboutboul. Banning and his team manage to get away hardly scathed and get President Asher on a chopper to safety. But they are then shot down by snipers on the roof tops.(Surprise, Surprise!) As they crash, Secret Service Director Jacobs is punctured by a shard of metal in the crash and she dies. With no choice but to leave her there and a gang of terrorists in pursuit, they flee the scene.
Back in America, Aamir Barkawi sends Vice President Trumbull a dark message from a dirty hole-in-the-wall building, just like all terrorist videos, saying that he wants President Asher to die on live television for the killing of his daughter at her wedding. He is out for blood, and he will not stop until his demand for President Asher is fulfilled.
With this message in mind, Banning and Asher are now running throughout the streets of London, hiding from their attackers, which are supposedly everywhere but they miraculously aren’t seen. Banning, being the military genius that he is, sends signals to the satellite hovering above the president back to headquarters, and they send in a rescue team to get them.
Of course, the bad guys just happened to intercept the signal telling them the military will soon go for them. So naturally they pose as U.S. soldiers and they end up kidnapping the president and taking him to Barkawi’s son, Kamran Barkawi, who wants to behead the president and broadcast it live for the world to see.
Banning is finally united with the actual U.S. soldiers and they storm in to find the president. Punches are thrown and shots are fired in a full-on battle between Banning, the soldiers and Barkawi’s men.
The movie ends with Banning back at home with his sweet child and lovely wife as he goes back to the world he knew before.
“London Has Fallen” is a tad cliché, and, at times, predictable. Since the whole terrorist movie thing has been done so many times before, the audience knows what is probably going to happen next. But, nonetheless, the action was thrilling and grabbed the attention of the audience.
Overall, I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.