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London Has Fallen
London Has Fallen
Directed by Babak Najafi
Produced by Gerard Butler
Mark Gill
Danny Lerner
Matt O'Toole
Alan Siegel
Les Weldon
Screenplay by Creighton Rothenberger
Katrin Benedikt
Chad St. John
Christian Gudegast
Starring Gerard Butler

Aaron Eckhart
Morgan Freeman
Alon Moni Aboutboul
Angela Bassett
Robert Forster
Melissa Leo
Radha Mitchell

Music by Trevor Morris
Cinematography Ed Wild
Editing by Michael J. Duthie
Paul Martin Smith
Distributed by Focus Features
Gramercy Pictures (US)
Lionsgate Films (non-US)
Release March 1, 2016 (Hollywood premiere)
March 4, 2016 (United States)
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million
Gross revenue $125.5 million
Preceded by Olympus Has Fallen

London Has Fallen is a 2016 American action thriller film directed by Babak Najafi and written by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Chad St. John, and Christian Gudegast. It is a sequel to Antoine Fuqua's 2013 film Olympus Has Fallen, and stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman, with Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell and Charlotte Riley in supporting roles.

Filming began on October 24, 2014 in London. A Christmas break started in November with filming resuming in February 2015. The film was released on March 4, 2016 by Focus Features under their recently revived Gramercy Pictures label.

Plot

A Pakistani arms dealer and terrorist leader named Aamir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul) is discovered to be the mastermind behind several terrorist attacks around the world. Western intelligence services locate his compound and the United States launches a drone strike against it, supposedly killing Barkawi along with his family. Two years later, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), Secret Service agent for President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), is expecting his first child with his wife Leah (Radha Mitchell). He hopes to spend more time with his family, and is contemplating resigning from the Secret Service. Meanwhile, having survived the earlier airstrike, Barkawi meets his son Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter) in Yemen so that the pair may set in motion their plans for revenge.

Asher and Mike are informed that the British Prime Minister James Wilson has died. Along with Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs (Angela Bassett), they travel to London to join many other prominent world leaders for Wilson's state funeral. As the dignitaries are arriving, several mercenaries under Barkawi's command initiate an attack, starting with a bomb that destroys the Canadian Prime Minister's limo as it passes through Trafalgar Square, killing him and his wife. Other leaders soon suffer a similar fate – the Japanese Prime Minister drowns when suicide bombers cause Chelsea Bridge to collapse, the French President perishes in a huge bomb blast on the River Thames that destroys his yacht and heavily damages Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, the Italian Prime Minister and his wife are killed when one of Westminster Abbey's bell towers is demolished while they are touring it, and the German Chancellor is shot dead by terrorists posing as Queen's Guardsmen at Buckingham Palace. Meanwhile, Asher and the Secret Service men with him are engaged in a firefight by yet more terrorists disguised British Police and other emergency responders. Both sides suffer heavy losses before Banning, Asher and Jacobs narrowly escape the chaos. The president's staff back at the White House watch in horror as London is left in chaos and hundreds of civilians are killed.

At their base of operations, the terrorists hack into the city's power network, effectively shutting it down. Banning, Asher and Jacobs head to Marine One for extraction. However, terrorists positioned on building rooftops use Stinger missiles to take out the decoy helicopters before shooting down Marine One. The aircraft crash-lands in a park, resulting in Jacobs being fatally wounded; she dies in Mike's arms after making him promise to kill those responsible for the carnage. Mike and Asher go on the run, fleeing into the deactivated London Underground to get off of the streets. As they move through the underground tunnels, Asher notes that the terrorists want to capture him alive so that he may be executed publicly, and orders Mike to kill him if necessary to stop that happening. Mike reluctantly agrees. As they move across the city, Mike manages to discreetly contact Vice President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and send the White House a message to let them know that he and Asher are heading for an MI6 safehouse in the city.

The staff at the White House receive a threatening call from Barkawi revealing his role in the plot and his desire for vengeance. They are also informed that Wilson's autopsy report detected poison in his body, revealing that he was intentionally murdered to lure the world leaders to London so that they could be killed. With the city in lockdown, Mike and Asher reach the safe-house of MI6 agent Jacqueline "Jax" Marshall (Charlotte Riley), whom Mike knows well. Jax uses her computer to determine Barkawi's involvement. She plays back a message from Trumbull confirming that they received Mike's message and are sending help. On the security cameras, the three see what is supposedly a Delta Force Team there to rescue Mike and Asher. However, Mike notices the operators aren't sweating after supposedly trekking across the city on foot in heavy gear, and thereby deduces they are yet more terrorist impostors. Knowing that the terrorists must have a mole within the British government, Jax heads to Scotland Yard to coordinate with local authorities while Mike stays behind to eliminate the terrorists, aided by Asher. The pair then take an MI6 vehicle and make a run for the safety of the U.S. Embassy, but are overturned by a van driven by the terrorists. Banning regains consciousness just in time to see Asher being abducted.

President Asher is taken to a construction site in the city that serves as the terrorists' secret headquarters. There, Kamran prepares to execute Asher publicly, broadcasting the video feed live around the world via the internet and other hacked video outlets. Meanwhile, Mike has been found by a unit of SAS commandos, and the group assaults the terrorist stronghold in an attempt to rescue Asher. As millions around the world watch, Kamran brutally beats Asher before preparing to behead him with a machete, asking the President if he has any final words, to which Asher begins reciting the presidential Oath of Office. At the last moment, Mike bursts in and shoots the gathered terrorists before engaging in a fistfight with Kamran, although the terrorist leader ultimately manages to flee. Surrounded by yet more terrorists during their own escape attempt, Mike orders the SAS commander to blow up the building, jumping down a shaft to safety with Asher as the fireball engulfs Kamran and the remaining hostiles, killing them. Jax discovers that MI5 Intelligence Chief John Lancaster (Patrick Kennedy) is the traitor who helped Barkawi and kills him in self-defense after he refuses to be taken into custody. Some time later, Barkawi's compound is located in Yemen, where another drone strike is launched against him. Trumbull contacts him by phone and speaks to him moments before he dies in the explosion.

Two weeks after the attack on London, Mike returns home and is spending time with Leah and their newborn child, named Lynne after his deceased boss. He sits in front of his laptop and continues to contemplate sending his letter of resignation to Asher. On TV, Trumbull speaks regarding the recent events, leaving an inspiring message that America will prevail. This convinces Mike to delete the letter.

Cast

  • Gerard Butler as Mike Banning, a Secret Service agent and Special Agent in charge of the Presidential Protection Division.
  • Aaron Eckhart as Benjamin Asher, the President of the United States.
  • Morgan Freeman as Allan Trumbull, the Vice President of the United States.
  • Alon Moni Aboutboul as Aamir Barkawi, a terrorist mastermind who is #6 on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list.
  • Angela Bassett as Lynne Jacobs, the Director of the United States Secret Service.
  • Robert Forster as US Army General Edward Clegg, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • Melissa Leo as Ruth McMillan, the United States Secretary of Defense.
  • Radha Mitchell as Leah Banning, Mike's wife and a nurse.
  • Charlotte Riley as Jacqueline "Jax" Marshall, a British MI6 agent.
  • Jackie Earle Haley as DC Mason, the White House Chief of Staff.
  • Sean O'Bryan as Ray Monroe, the Deputy Director of the National Security Agency.
  • Waleed Zuaiter as Kamran Barkawi, Aamir Barkawi's son and sub-commander who worked with his father in their terrorist plot.
  • Mehdi Dehbi as Sultan Mansoor, the youngest of three brothers whose life has been forever changed after a drone strike.
  • Colin Salmon as Chief Inspector Kevin Hazard, head of the Metropolitan Police Service Box Command.
  • Patrick Kennedy as John Lancaster, MI5 Intelligence Chief. He was also on Aamir and Kamran Barkawi's payroll and working with them in the terrorist plot.
  • Bryan Larkin as SAS Lieutenant Will Davis.
  • Michael Wildman as Agent Voight, a Secret Service member of the President's security detail.
  • Andrew Pleavin as Agent Bronson, a Secret Service member of the President's security detail.
  • Deborah Grant as Doris, Leah's mother.
  • Clarkson Guy Williams as Leighton Clarkson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following the death of his predecessor, James Wilson.
  • Penny Downie as Rose Kenter, the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom.
  • Philip Delancy as Jacques Mainard, the President of France.
  • Alex Giannini as Antonio Giusti, the Prime Minister of Italy.
  • Nancy Baldwin as Agnes Bruckner, the Chancellor of Germany.
  • Nigel Whitmey as Robert Bowman, the Prime Minister of Canada.
  • Tsuwayuki Saotome as Tsutomu Nakushima, the Prime Minister of Japan.

Production

Casting

Butler, Eckhart, Freeman, Bassett, Leo, Forster and Mitchell reprised their roles from Olympus Has Fallen. Production had been scheduled to begin in May 2015 in London, with Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt returning to write the script. Director Antoine Fuqua, however, did not return, due to his commitments with The Equalizer. On May 1, 2014, it was announced Focus Features had acquired distribution rights to the sequel, and would release the film on October 2, 2015. On August 18, 2014, it was announced that Charlie Countryman director Fredrik Bond would take over direction from Fuqua, but Bond left the film on September 18, six weeks before the shooting was to begin. On September 28, director Babak Najafi signed on to direct the film. On October 10, Jackie Earle Haley joined the film to play Deputy Chief Mason. On November 12, Mehdi Dehbi joined the film to play Sultan Mansoor, the youngest of three brothers whose life has been forever changed after a drone strike.

Filming

Principal photography on the film began on October 24, 2014, in London. Four weeks of shooting were to take place, involving actors Freeman, Eckhart, Bassett and Melissa Leo, before a break for Christmas. Gerard Butler - who had been filming Geostorm the previous October - joined the shoot later, filming scenes with Eckhart in March 2015. A helicopter was seen making an expert landing in the courtyard of Somerset House, which is normally used to host London Fashion Week and summer film screenings. Butler and Angela Bassett were seen filming in Somerset House. Butler stated in an interview that the movie was also filmed in India and was to continue in Bulgaria. The President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, visited the set of London Has Fallen during filming at Boyana Cinema Center in Bulgaria. Filming lasted through April 2015.

Score

The music was composed by Trevor Morris, who provided the score for the first film. The record was released on March 4, 2016, by Back Lot Music.

Release

On May 20, 2015, Focus Features relaunched their Gramercy Pictures label for action, horror, and science fiction releases, with London Has Fallen being one of Gramercy's first titles. The film was planned for an October 2, 2015 release, however, on June 12, 2015, it was announced that the film had been moved back to January 22, 2016 to avoid competition with The Martian, which swapped its original November 25 release date with Victor Frankenstein. On July 1, 2015, the film's teaser trailer was released. The timing of the release was criticized as "insensitive" by the Chair of the Tavistock Square Memorial Trust, Philip Nelson, as it coincided with the week of the 10th anniversary of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, in which 52 people were killed, and with the 2015 Sousse attacks, in which 30 British nationals were killed. On September 16, 2015, the film's release was moved back again to March 4, 2016, because the studios needed more time to finish the film's visual effects. The U.S. trailer was released on November 5, 2015. A new theatrical poster of the film was released on January 21, 2016. The film received an R rating from the MPAA, "for strong language and violence throughout."

Reception

Box office

London Has Fallen has grossed $59.2 million in North America and $64.7 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $123.9 million, against a budget of $60 million.

In the United States and Canada, pre-release tracking suggested the film would gross $20–23 million from 3,490 theaters in its opening weekend, trailing fellow newcomer Zootopia ($60–70 million projection) but besting Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ($10–12 million projection). The film made $850,000 from its Thursday night previews and $7.6 million on its first day. It went on to gross $21.6 million in its opening weekend, finishing second at the box office behind Zootopia ($75 million).

Critical response

London Has Fallen has received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 23%, based on 159 reviews, with an average rating of 3.8/10. The site's consensus reads, "London Has Fallen traps a talented cast – and all who dare to see it – in a mid-1990s basic-cable nightmare of a film loaded with xenophobia and threadbare action-thriller clichés." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 28 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same grade as its predecessor.

Panning the film, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club wrote: "A murky, brain-dead stab-a-thon packed with so many inane chases, laughable special effects, and mismatched stock footage shots that it begs to be made into a drinking game, London Has Fallen is one of those rare films that is good at absolutely nothing."

External links

Gerard Butler films

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)  · Chasing Mavericks (2012)  · How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)  ·

Morgan Freeman films

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)  · The Shawshank Redemption (1994)  · Bruce Almighty (2003)  · Batman Begins (2005)  · Evan Almighty (2007)  · The Dark Knight (2008)  · Conan the Barbarian (2011)  · The Dark Knight Rises (2012)  · Last Vegas (2013)  · Lucy (2014)  · The Lego Movie (2014)  ·

Angela Bassett films

The Score (2001)  · Black Nativity (2013)  ·

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