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BELATED REVIEW OF LONDON HAS FALLEN

Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart try remaining visible and important amidst all the death and explosions in LONDON
You will always find a brand new situation here on CULT FILM FREAK, a movie review website that learns along the way... And so, while watching LONDON HAS FALLEN, yours truly had no idea (or had simply forgotten) that OLYMPUS had FALLEN beforehand: as now, American President Benjamin Asher, played by THE DARK KNIGHT dimple-chinned Aaron Eckhart, and really starring Gerard Butler as Mike Banning have, well, another big crisis on their hands...

Aaron Eckhart & Gerard Butler
Now, not having seen OLYMPUS, this particular writeup will center only on LONDON, without comparison... Either way, it's pretty obvious Mike Banning is the greatest Secret Service Agent on Earth. Seeming to have taken classes from Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood flicks, he's the man of the hour... From the onset, as the two important muscular guys are jogging outside the White House, it's obvious who's the strongest of the two... Darwin's theory is kinda lost here...

Gerard Butler
For the physically weakest, Eckhart is indeed the "Leader of the Free World," and if you could fathom having to read a hundred names from a phone book just to burn it to shreds thereafter, this is the most annoying LONDON gets as every person's name is displayed below themselves when first shown, in several regions... and hardly any are important enough for that to occur in the first place...

Instead, who really matters are those two previously mentioned joggers that, while attending a beloved Prime Minister's funeral in England, wind up in a dark THIRD MAN underworld beneath the literally explosive London streets and, before and during one of the biggest terrorist raids in history, much of the film is Butler's agent keeping his President not only alive down there, but from getting captured and, most important and nightmarish to imagine, filmed (and forever viewable for his son) on YouTube, being possibly executed by agents working for... well that's one of the few people who really matter, at least of the bad guys, and he gets about a minute of screen-time... or less.

Gerard Butler
So while LONDON isn't exactly a deep and/or flawless film, with far too many deaths for a viewer to take, it's not too shabby for a testosterone-heavy action-thriller relying on friendship and explosions...

Robert Forster
Also, not knowing till after of its sequel status, FALLEN is upped a notch since sequels are usually god-awful. And throughout the exterior noise and interior conversations, ranging from helicopter chases to hacker backrooms to Veep Morgan Freeman's Washington roundtable, we mainly center on the two friends: one that loves his family more than his important job, and the other who knows his own less-important yet much more (cinematically) involving job well enough to make all the distractions not matter a bit.

RATING: ***1/2
TRIVIA: For Cult Movie fans, there is a sadly wasted duo sitting amongst many people at the table where Morgan Freeman does his figuring-out of the situation: that being Robert Forster, one of the most genuinely talented character-actors ever, starring in flicks from many decades including MEDIUM COOL, THE BLACK HOLE, ALLIGATOR and VIGILANTE... And also on board is the original BAD NEWS BEARS tough kid Jackie Earle Haley, all grown-up after several comebacks: why they don't make a movie centering on his WATCHMAN character is insane... Meanwhile, Forster needs to turn up in bigger, better roles after what was supposed to be a solid Oscar nominated comeback in Tarantino's JACKIE BROWN as bail bondsman Max Cherry...

Lights Out... Lights Out in...
Speaking of "Cult" but now of the music world, when the prime underground hacker is about to blackout all of London, he says "Lights out in London," referencing a track from the band UFO • THE THIRD MAN reference is from a classic Film Noir starring CITIZEN KANE actors Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, directed by Carol Reed and with a famous finale taking place in the dark English sewers • And saying (semi-humorously) Banning learned his moves from Bronson and Eastwood flicks aren't just because both tough guy actors starred in movies centering on the Secret Service, because ASSASSINATION and IN THE LINE OF FIRE, compared to the likes of DEATH WISH and MAGNUM FORCE, weren't very good... but it's all about connecting here, so those two were chosen.
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