I once watched the movie White Chicks three times in one night. Granted, I had just come back from a two-day bender and sleep was elusive, but that shouldn’t undermine my love the film.
I reckon I’ve seen I Know What You Did Last Summer about twenty times. Its sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, would’ve had a similar hit count if my VHS player hadn’t chewed up the tape. The nineties weren’t all Spice Girls and Tamagotchis – they were rough, man.
My favourite Terminator film is #3.
And when I was kid, I loved Krull. Still do, for that matter.
My tolerance for trash is high. Sometimes KFC is preferable to The Dorchester.
I am not exactly a connoisseur of art house cinema.
So when a trip to the cinema to see London Has Fallen was suggested to me, I thought why the heck not?
Wood Green Cineworld. Don’t tell me I’ve got no class.
I hate to assassinate the character of a person I’ve never met, but I’m not sure about Gerard Butler. I can’t put my finger on it, but I just wouldn’t like to get stuck talking to guy at a party. I get the feeling he’d be all, ‘Gerard Butler this…Gerard Butler that.’ Shut up.
But maybe he’ll be good in it, right? Maybe I’ll be surprised.
Anyway, SPOILER ALERT for those who care about such things. From here on it, I will divulge ‘plot’ details.
The movie starts in Pakistan with some lazy narrative about how this Middle Eastern man, Barkawi, is an arms dealer (evil) and how he needs to be killed. So the good guys blow up a wedding with a drone strike. Fuck the collateral. Freedom’s more important.
Two years later (although it feels far longer).
I knew I was in trouble when Aaron Eckhart, playing President Benjamin Whateverthefuck and Butler are going for a jog together and joking about what Butler’s going to name his new baby. “I was thinking of naming it ‘Benjamin’,” says Butler. “If it’s a girl.”
Lolz. Girls are weak, you see. And he’s saying the President if feminine, which is, obviously, a dreadful thing to be.
Butler’s character seems like sort of guy who says things like “I’ve got no problem with gays, just keep ’em away from my kids, yeah?”
Maybe it’ll pick up.
Ah, Morgan Freeman. I like him. He starts talking and it’s like slipping in to a warm bath.
And here’s Angela Bassett. I like here, too. Her performance as a three-breasted hermaphrodite in American Horror Story: Freak Show was one of the only enjoyable elements of an otherwise lacklustre season of TV. Unfortunately, she’s double-titted and one dimensional in London Has Fallen. She dies later in a helicopter crash about half way through. Probably would’ve survived if she had penis, which is kind of ironic, because she did in American Horror Story.
Talking of women, Butler’s knocked up Radha Mitchell of Neighbours and Pitch Black fame. All she does here is rub her belly and look a bit worried. And she doesn’t seem to have a job or anything remotely interesting about her. I’ve seen more character development in a Pitbull music video.
Anyway…plot. Believe it or not, our Middle Eastern terrorist, Barkawi, hasn’t died in the drone strike. He’s hurt his leg a little bit, though, so he’s really mad about that. All his sons seem to have survived as well (although one’s in a wheelchair now – he’s the computer nerd). It’s not mentioned whether he has any daughters. I presume they died in the drone strike. Women are less likely to survive a drone strike than men. It’s a scientific fact.
The British PM dies. Barkawi’s poisoned him, but they hold the funeral before doing the autopsy, so everyone thinks it’s an innocent little heart attack. That means a load of heads of state from around the world fly to London to attend the funeral. IF ONLY THEY’D DONE THE AUTOPSY QUICKER! Stupid Limey assholes. That sort of shit wouldn’t happen in America. They have doctors and labs over there. In the UK, all they still treat infected wounds with leeches.
Quite why President Benjamin flies over for the funeral is beyond me. IRL, I’d have thought Obama would’ve just sent a card. Maybe some flowers.
Cut to a montage of racial stereotyping in which we see all the heads of state getting ready to attend the funeral. The French guy is running late (typical). The Italian guy is groping some young girl on the roof of Westminster Abbey (sleazy). The Canadian bloke is doing something Canadian (I can’t remember what…probably sipping on a bottle of maple syrup).
And then they all die from really bad CGI explosions.
But thank fuck for Butler, eh?
He saves the day. He kills EVERYONE.
And when he runs out of bullets words are his weapon. “Get back to Fuckheadistan,” he tells a bad guy.
I have since googled Fuckheadistan on the off chance it was actually a place and I was just seeing racism where there was none. It’s not a place.
At one point, he growls, “I’m really fucking thirsty,” and chugs a glass of water. Someone actually wrote that line. Someone actually wrote the line “I’m really fucking thirsty” and put it in a $60m movie. Art is well and truly dead.
There’s slight respite in the shape of Charlotte Riley. She almost resembles a strong female character. They also let her keep her Durham accent, which I liked. But she only has about five minutes of screen time. No time for female nonsense when Butler’s killing terrorists, right?
Of course, everyone dies and the president is saved. People cheer. Yay for freedom. Etcetera.
And just when I feel my intelligence can’t be insulted anymore, they track down Barkawi (who is hiding somewhere in the Middle East) and fire a drone a him. A DRONE. He’s already escaped one drone strike, you dumb bastards. Why are you doing it again? Obviously nobody’s auditing the process notes at the DOD.
It limps to an end and Butler’s kid is born. Spawn of Gerard. I didn’t catch its gender. I’m presuming it was male. Butler’s the sort of guy who only fathers sons.
I guess the one good thing I can take from that piece of self-important, jingoistic bullshit is that it probably bought Morgan Freeman a nice house. And he seems like a lovely man, so that pleases me.