London Has Fallen feels tailor-made for Donald Trump's American idiocracy. There's an army of vengeful gun-toting Islamist extremists who decimate London during a calculated operation to assassinate multiple leaders of state. There's a wisecracking, sadistic American hero named Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) who's "made of bourbon and poor choices" that makes them pay. And finally there's rational, intelligent people who stand on the sidelines and watch it happen, i.e. Morgan Freeman's impotent Vice President.
Directed by Babak Najafi, the film is not only an inferior sequel to Antoine Fuqua's devastating city symphony of mayhem, Olympus Has Fallen, but it's a contemptible, ugly and morally corrupt poser of an action film.
The gang's all back, including Aaron Eckhart as the stoic President Benjamin Asher who seems to be allergic to death, Angela Bassett as a badass woman of power relegated to victim-status and poor Radha Mitchell as Banning's pregnant wife who remains an afterthought until her due date.
With its slack-jaw narrative and horrendous xenophobia, the film cares very little about the complexity of modern foreign policy and Western interventionism. It's the perfect vision of our "worst-case scenario" undoubtedly inspired by the greatest horrors ISIS could produce.
As Banning and Asher attempt to circumnavigate downtown London, they face an enemy deemed "the United Nations of everyone who hates us" that has somehow infiltrated the police ranks and MI5 while coordinating five separate explosions in amazing fashion. The world's intelligence operations will surely be studying this film like a documentary.
When Banning was forced to kill in Olympus Has Fallen, there was a desperation and coordination to his carnage. Here, his actions reek of flagrant opportunism; every knife thrust or muzzle flash introduces the worst kind of chest-thumping one-liners. London Has Fallen, which opens Friday, March 4, claims to be concerned with inciting the spirit of justice and courage, but does so through hateful barbarism that can't be excused.
Cabin Fever: Someone felt the need to remake Eli Roth’s horror crapsterpiece. Go figure. Screens through Friday, March 10, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
King Georges: Philadelphia filmmaker Erika Frankel films Chef Georges Perrier as he closes his famous eatery Le Bec-Fin in 2010. Screens through Friday, March 10, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
London Has Fallen: Gerard Butler does Trump’s America proud by killing any Muslim that moves in this inane action film about a plot to send the world into chaos by way of assassination.
Remember: Christopher Plummer plays an elderly Holocaust survivor with dementia who’s sent on a mission by a friend to kill a former Nazi hiding in plain sight.
The Boy and the Beast: A young orphan from Tokyo discovers a magical alternate universe where beasts live in harmony with each other. Opens on Friday, March 4, at the Angelika Film Center in Carmel Mountain.
The Wave: A Norwegian town fears the arrival of an 85-foot tsunami caused by a glacier collapse.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: In this dramedy from filmmakers Glenn Ficara and John Requa, Tina Fey plays a journalist who is sent to Afghanistan and Pakistan to cover the various conflicts in the region.
Zootopia: A bunny and a fox team up to uncover a conspiracy in a world of anthropological animals.
One Time Only
Tommy Boy: “Fat guy in a little coat.” Damn, I miss Chris Farley. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
The Danish Girl: Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander star in this period piece about trangender pioneer Lili Elbe and her relationship with artist Gerda Wegener. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, at Cinema Under the Stars.
Animal House: A rowdy fraternity battles a conservative dean at an American university in 1962. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.