In London for the Prime Minister’s funeral, Mike Banning discovers a plot to assassinate all the attending world leaders.
“Olympus Has Fallen” was a pornographically violent crapfest that took the standard “Die Hard” template, located it within the confines of a White House being attacked by Korean terrorists and tried to use such sights as the White House in flames, hundreds of corpses on the front lawn and the female Secretary of Defense being brutally beaten as the inspiration for the ensuing orgy of shootings, stabbings, neck-breakings and quips delivered by star Gerard Butler. A truly odious work, it wasn’t even the best White House-set “Die Hard” knock-off released in 2013—the Channing Tatum/Jamie Foxx vehicle “White House Down” was an infinitely better film that didn’t make you feel as if you needed a shower afterwards—but, presumably because it happened to come out first, it was the more successful of the two films. As a result, we now have “London Has Fallen,” a horrible and wildly unnecessary follow-up that might actually be worse than its predecessor.
As the film opens, our hero, Mike Banning (Butler), the personal Secret Service agent assigned to guard President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), is contemplating resigning his post in order to spend non-lethal quality time with his wife (Radha Mitchell) and their about-to-be-born child when duty calls once again—the Prime Minister of London has just died suddenly and he is to accompany Asher to the funeral, which will be attended by most of the leaders of the free world. As they all begin to congregate for the funeral, however, a series of coordinated attacks begin involving bombs, rocket launchers and hundreds of fake cops mowing down people in the streets that allow viewers to see most of London’s landmarks blown to smithereens and presumably thousands of people—including the leaders of France, Canada, Italy and Japan—killed in any number of gruesome ways. Happily, thanks to Banning’s decision to move President Asher’s arrival ahead of schedule, they manage to escape and even survive a crash landing when Marine One is shot down—perhaps the only time in the film when something crashes and does not instantly go up in a massive ball of flames, other than the film itself.