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Mace & Crown | April 25, 2018

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'London Has Fallen' Tests National Security Across the Atlantic

‘London Has Fallen’ Tests National Security Across the Atlantic
Becca Barnett
Contributing Writer

Explosions, gun fights, car chases, double agents, spies, terrorists and a lot of strong language. London Has Fallen has it all.

The film starts with all the leaders of the Western World attending the British Prime Minister’s funeral in London. It was the most protected event in the world, or so they thought.

Tension escalates and the well-protected funeral turns into a blood bath. Gerard Butler as Mike Banning, a secret service agent, must protect the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart) at all costs. The villain, Aamir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul), is a terrorist who is number six on the FBI’s most wanted list. He will stop at nothing to get his revenge and assassinate the president on a live, worldwide broadcast.

This 99-minute, action-packed film first went into production on Oct. 24, 2014 with the return of “Olympus Has Fallen” actors Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Robert Forster and Radha Mitchell.

There were a few bumps along the way with directors. The director of “Olympus Has Fallen,” Antoine Fuqua, could not return for the sequel due to prior directing commitments. Fredrik Bond was going to take over directing duties, but he left the film six weeks before filming.

Finally on Sept. 28, Babak Najafi, nominated Best Director at the 46th Guldbagge Awards, signed on to direct the film. The cinematographer was Ed Wild, who has been filming since 1998.

The movie was filmed in London, as the title suggests, but also in Bulgaria and India. Production wrapped up in April 2015 and received an R rating by the MPAA for strong language and violence.

In comparison to its predecessor, “Olympus Has Fallen,” the sequel is less emotional. There is less torture and no hostages to worry about. Connor (Finley Jacobsen), the President’s son, did not play as central a role in London Has Fallen.

Another factor for the film being less emotional was its location in England instead of the United States. The first film was more relatable; it was almost crushing to watch the American flag fall. The audience did not feel the same connection in London Has Fallen.

The only major difference between the movies, however, was that the sequel took place in London and there was a different villain. Most of the plot points and events in the movie played out the same as the first.

The basic structure of both movies was similar: Something intense happened in the beginning. Then the action slowed down until something crazier happened and more information was gathered. The battle began and the President needed to be saved.

Both films in the now established franchise are solid action movies.