Olympus Has Fallen was an idiotic but mildly entertaining rendition of Die Hard in the White House. And what allowed it to succeed was the combination of decent action, with a setting familiar from a hundred other movies and television shows. That allowed it to be enjoyable enough, even while the script was a catastrophe.
London Has Fallen jettisons everything that worked from that first film and shits itself so thoroughly that it hangs itself from the rafters with its own prolapsed rectum.
Someone seems to be under the impression that Gerard Butler is capable of carrying an action movie. That someone likely needs to be committed to the care of full time medical professionals, the sort who used to work in Soviet psychiatric hospitals and made Nurse Ratchet look like a candy striper. He was perfectly serviceable in 300, with melodramatic dialogue and a savage beard. But the attempts at making him quip like he’s in a buddy cop movie? It’s as embarrassingly awkward as a virgin’s strip tease.
The action is horribly shot to the point of complete incoherence. The special effects are as bad as a WB genre show, with every explosion looking like it was made as a final project in a Devry University computer animation class.
Every person in a car gets riddled with dozens of bullets, but main characters A and B walk away unharmed. A helicopter gets hit by a missile and falls three hundred feet out of the air, killing everyone aboard, but main characters A and B walk away unharmed. The climax is blowing up an entire building, magically killing the hundreds of terrorists inside, but main characters A and B walk away unharmed. The protagonist plot armor is so egregious that the only possible in-universe explanation is that el Presidente and Agent Leonidas are actual literal invincible Greek gods.
The dialogue is so painful that it could only have been written by a computer that hates humanity. For instance, when the final boss is about to kill el Presidente and hears gun fire and crashing in the distance, our brave Commander in Chief growls “that’s the sound of inevitability”. Yes, they plagiarized the protagonist’s big dramatic one liner from the bad guy in The Matrix.
The plot is an aneurysm, Miiiiiiister Anderson.
Terrorists assassinate the British Prime Minister, but, like, surreptitiously so everyone thinks it’s a heart attack. The entire purpose of this is so that world leaders all come to the funeral and get done killed. This is the sole, vaguely interesting part of the plot, because it’s a clever sort of set-up at least: spend years planning an attack and then trigger it when you’re ready. Only the terrorists don’t attack the funeral … they attack everybody on their way to the funeral separately. Got some real Sun Fucking Tzu’s on their team.
In unison, all sorts of bombs go off all over London, and terrorists embedded in plain sight start spraying bullets and chucking grenades. I mean, they’ve got guys in the British police, ambulance drivers, first responders, MI-6, army. Hell, they’ve even got a few guys infiltrated into those Buckingham Palace guards in the old-style red uniforms. Then there are dozens of gunmen on motorcycles, a bunch of dudes with Stinger missiles on every roof every direction that el Presidente’s helicopter tries to fly in. Like, hundreds upon hundreds of embedded terrorists. In an operation that was planned for years, for no reason other than to massacre world leaders. And every last one of them fights fanatically to the death.
Whites, blacks, Asians, and of course the obligatory ambiguously brown dudes. As one character points out “it’s a veritable United Nations of people who hate us”. There’s absolutely no hint of irony in the film. Just the blind paranoia that everyone in the world hates us for no reason whatsoever, and that they’ve completely infiltrated our entire society, while still somehow being outsiders who are objectively bad. This is a film that features the opening scene of an American drone strike annihilating a wedding party of hundreds of civilians, and thus creating the vengeful antagonist. And then ends with Morgan Freeman giving a speech about how big our collective balls are and how intervention is our moral right as history’s good guys™.
It’s small, hateful, and stupid, and perfectly encapsulates a Trump voter’s world view.