Written by Nelson Cumming
When I review a movie, I comment on the two or three things that stick out to me the most. I find that tearing apart a movie based on tiny little insignificant details to be a little tiresome and moronic if it is not done in an entertaining way.
With London Has Fallen, there were so many little things that were done so wrong in such a hilariously bad way that I quickly started jotting them down in my notes. It made my feel good and got me through watching a bad movie. It was so laughably bad that I used the poster as a joke on my Facebook page about Brexit.
I was thinking about writing an entire blog entry about this months ago because of a large amount of material, but now I feel the time is right to do it. Here were some of my notes which are based on horrifically stupid dialogue, basic cinematic errors, and leaps in movie logic that border on video game logic. I hope you enjoy it.
1. Near the beginning, The movie lists the names of the members of the White House Staff redundantly because you never see them again for the remaining 90 minutes.
2. Manning is jogging with the President (Aaron Eckhart) talking about family. Manning then jogs backward and the President says “What do they make you out of” Manning responds “Bourbon and poor choices” with a smug smile on his face.
3. Manning arrives with the President to London by plane to pay their respects to the recently deceased Prime Minister. Manning is told once they land that the President will be transported to the funeral secretly. Apparently, secretly means taking him to the rendezvous point via three giant aircraft carriers, all with American flags, then the President will be transported by a stretch limo with American flags and the President’s seal on the door in the middle of a busy street in London.
4. The terrorists attack London with the aim to assassinate all the world leaders who are attending the funeral while destroying British landmarks to affect British morale. This made sense. That is up until the point where there is a wide shot of the decimated London showing the Big Ben unaffected which is the biggest and the most famous British landmark of them all. It is not what the movie posters lead me to believe (see picture above).
5. The terrorists then stage a blackout that covers all over London . This is firmly established in the movie (which I will get to later). The very next scene shows a woman on TV reading from a media release telling the people in London to stay safe and remain vigilant. This contradicts the scene before that established the blackout because Londoners would have to turn on the TV to listen to the awe-inspiring message. But they can’t because, you know, there is a blackout.
6. The United States Government uncovers the mastermind of the terror attacks. It is established that he has “killed more people than the plague” and he is number six on the most wanted list. If the mastermind is only number six on the list and has killed more people than the plague, I would be more worried about the five people that are higher on the list.
7. As I have said, the majority of the movie is set in a blackout. There’s a reason for this which the movie doesn’t mention. If you read about the filming process of London Has Fallen, the action sequences were actually shot in Bulgaria and they used the blackout to try and hide the fact the majority of the movie was not actually shot in London.
8. Manning ambushes a terrorist and knocks him out. He searches the body to find a tear gas canister, a hand grenade, and a shotgun. Manning says to the President “This guy has more weapons than the United States army”. I did some research and found that U.S. military budget was greater than $59.99.
9. I forget the car models, but there was some blatant product placement of two cars as the fall off London Bridge (during a bombing) and into the water. Apparently, if I want to find a car that can withstand a bombing and is water durable, I now know that I won’t buy those models.
10. A terrorist fires a bazooka and hits the tail of the helicopter. In the helicopter are the President, Manning, and the female U.S. secretary. The plane spirals out of control and crashes to the ground. That scene was cool. What wasn’t cool was Banning yelling to the President “Run the helicopter could blow any second” before spending 3 minutes to console the mortally wounded secretary in the helicopter debris. What’s worse is Butler when he is trying to cry in the scene but he clearly cannot.
11. There is a scene where Manning tells the President to hide in the closet. When the terrorists overwhelm Manning, the President kicks the door down and shoots the remaining terrorists dead. Manning quips “I was wondering when you were coming out of the closet”
12. This is not technically a fault but deserves mentioning because it shows who the movie is going after. This movie does the oldest action cliche in the book where none of the bullets hit Banning but every bullet he fires hits. It because so mind numbing as he does it throughout the movie. At least if someone is playing a team deathmatch on COD online, you will be paying thousands for Butler to be on your team with 0 deaths and 100% accuracy.
13. After nearly every scene, the movie will cut to an anchorman that explains in the news what we just saw. That is probably because the movie is so mind-numbing and dull that the director knows that you will forget the scene the moment it ends.
14. Finally, there is a quote in the movie that we should “never criticize, always encourage”. If this is a subtle insult to the criticism of the movie (unlikely since “subtle” is not a word in the movie’s dictionary) then I will criticize this movie for its logical errors, horrendous dialogue, dull settings and monotonous action sequences and I will not encourage it. If there is another sequel to this movie it should be called “My I.Q. points have fallen”
If you have managed to stay with me this far, then here is the twist in the knife. Someone said to me “you need to watch the original to understand the sequel” as a defense. I was kind and said that “I don’t need to” politely . Apparently, if I watch Olympus Has Fallen, all of these errors I have listed will be fully explained and justified. Somehow I doubt this will happen.
Despite all of this negativity, London has Fallen has been the only movie I have reviewed that is laughably bad. This was the only movie where I was thinking “The dialogue is so poorly written I have to write some of the quotes down” There is an abundance of humor in this movie that was unintended to which I am grateful. There are many movies I have seen which are bad because they are boring or cringeworthy while not being funny at all.
London has Fallen as a weird place in my heart. It’s not in the “so bad it’s good” section, yet doesn’t belong in the abyss of awful like other movies I have reviewed on my blog. It is unquestionably terrible, but there is something I enjoy recanting to people as a way to amuse them and amuse myself.