Tuesday, 19 April 2016

London Has Fallen (2016)

There is something very eerie at this present time, about watching a movie, about the city you live in, being overrun with terrorists of a specific religious demographic, and turning the place into a war zone where you are unable to trust anyone, even in a uniform. Its certainly a bit of an eye opener and dare I say...in these times, possibly not as completely unbelievable as you might think. Am I saying this movie encourages xenophobia? no no no, well maybe yes. All the baddies in this movie are from Pakistan (I believe?), a Muslim country, and everything you see in this movie revolves around horrendous terrorist attacks, bare with me. Now apart from the obvious in your face elements of British and American patriotism fighting against the evil villains, some of the dialog in this movie is actually kinda risque if I do say so myself. The finale where Butler's Banning is beating up a terrorist leader? have a look...

'You know what you assholes don't get? We're not a fucking building! We're not a fucking flag! We're not just one man! Assholes like you have been trying to kill us for a long fucking time. But you know what? A thousand years from now, we'll all still be here!'

Now this rather kickass statement (if I do say so myself), can actually be taken two ways. On one hand Banning could be simply referring to terrorists in general, from anywhere in the world, people who kill innocents for political gain. On the other hand, the more dubious hand, Banning could maybe be referring to Muslims? Don't shoot the messenger here! I'm just pointing out a possible sly angle on this dialog because in the heat of the moment it certainly felt like the latter to me. Then of course you have the moment Banning says 'why don't you pack up your shit and head back to fuckheadistan or wherever it is you're from', which did seem a tad offensive. Its a fine line to walk really, the movie is obviously based around real events that have been happening in the present day, and naturally that will revolve around certain people. Its no different to back in the 80's when all the action flicks had Russians or Germans as baddies. I guess its just the over the top, gung-ho, American patriotism that kinda grates a bit, but is there a slight swing at real current terrorists perhaps? a slight two fingers up at the people who have committed recent acts?

Well however you wanna look at it, one thing we can all agree on, one thing is for sure, this movie stinks. Lets start at the top, London, wisely labelled so with text just in case anyone out there mistakes it for Lima or Rome you know (ugh!). So, the British PM has passed away and there is a state funeral and everyone is invited! All the leaders of the world in one place...gee, what could go wrong? My first question is, why the fuck are these leaders all over London as if they were on holiday or something. The Japanese PM is stuck in traffic on Chelsea Bridge without any aids or police escorts apparently, just stuck there like a common schmoe. The French President is getting to the affair by yacht on the Thames because...I have no fucking clue, its pretty? The Italian PM is having a private tour of Westminster Abbey??? what in Butler's balls is he doing up there when he's suppose to be attending a flippin' state funeral? (love how they give this middle aged leader a 30 year old trophy wife because...Italian!). The Canadian PM is the only person who is apparently in the right place, at the right time, and in a car! Jesus! Obviously the director wanted to destroy as many of London's big landmarks as possible, so he just stuck world leaders here and there for no reason other than to get blown up.

So lets turn to the special effects, and when I say special effects, I of course mean the CGI. Well...bottom line, its pretty fudging terrible, this movie has been made in 2016 and the CGI is amazingly awful. Don't get me wrong, the actual gun battles and fights are all crap too, yes that's right, its all crap. Even the bits where Banning kicks ass, feels mundane and boring. Sure its hard hitting and brutal but who really cares, seen it all before, bad guys on motorbikes, in black cars blah blah blah. The various CGI sequences you see are so, SO obviously CGI its unreal, really poorly rendered helicopters being hit by missiles, shoddy explosions, crashes etc...The destruction of London is average, Chelsea Bridge probably looking the best but that's not saying much. There are of course numerous chase sequences which are hilarious because its so obvious they have been filmed at quiet times of the day, you can see the odd person looking in interest as they film it. To make matters worse a lot of the action is interspersed with obvious stock footage of British emergency services, and when its not stock footage it all looks so fake and set up, you can tell (again, regular people standing around watching doesn't help).

During the action you also can't help but ask many many questions, simple things like where the fuck are all the regular police??!! One of the plot devices is many of the beat police on the ground are terrorists in disguise, which is fine. But there would still be many many normal police, PCSO's (not that they'd be any use in a gun fight), armed police, police units in cars etc...When the shit hits the fan there doesn't appear to be any uniformed officers anywhere that aren't terrorists! highly unrealistic really. This also goes for the general public, the streets are deserted before and after the big attack, where is everyone?? Yes I know a state of emergency is issued and people are told to keep off the streets, but this is London, there is literately no way that would happen in central London in the middle of the day. Adding to that, the two protagonists, Banning and President Asher, spend so much time trying to disappear in central London, trying to reach Air Force One or a safe spot (whatever, who cares). Well in all honesty, personally I think it would be pretty bloody easy to disappear in central London, or find a vehicle to escape in. Jesus the city is big enough, littered with vehicles, with so many back streets, side streets, alleys, underground areas etc...literately spoilt for choice! Yet they keep seemingly running around the same places and openly down streets for all to see (yeah I know they aren't supposedly familiar with London but...ugh! come on!).

Then we move towards the baddies, just where exactly did they manage to get all these police cars, fitting uniforms etc...? Or did they kill lots of officers and take their cars and equipment? In which case how has no one noticed missing officers everywhere because there are lots of bad guys in disguise. This same argument applies to fire services, ambulance services and the Coldstream Guards as there are bad guys disguised as them too. Not to mention all the fire arms these baddies had, where did they hide these weapons? Where did the ambulance driver terrorist hide his rocket launcher thingy?

Seriously, if I were the President in this universe I'd quit after this. The second time you would have been caught up in a massive terrorist attack, aimed at killing you. I'd be like...sod this for a game of soldiers! Had this been released back in the mid 90's then it probably would have gone down a storm at the box office, twas the in thing. At this present time this (clearly) feels so very dated which is not helped at all by the bad effects. How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice? or, how can Hollywood roll out the same shitty mistakes yet again? I realise money talks but seriously, when will people learn that some movies just don't need a sequel, and the original movie set in D.C. was a prime example of this. A great action flick with a unique setting for its Die Hard-esque plot. This sequel completely loses that tight-knit, claustrophobic action vibe by expanding the plot to cover an entire city, instead of within and around one lone building. Everything suffers because of this stupid move, but mainly, its just not needed, its a pointless, aimless sequel that looks and feels worse in every department.