2013 – The year of the White House. Or more accurately, the year of movies about terrorists trying to take over the White House, as director Roland Emmerich and star Channing Tatum’s White House Down went toe to toe with director Antoine Fuqua and star Gerard Butler’s Olympus Has Fallen. Personally, while I didn’t think either film was really spectacular, I preferred the latter’s intense grittiness over the former’s silliness. But in Hollywood, it’s profit margins and not overly talky film bloggers from South Africa that count, and in this case it paid to be cheap.
While White House Down may have pipped Olympus Has Fallen at the box office post, bringing in $205 million versus its competitor’s $161 million worldwide, Olympus cost less than half to make at $70 million. So while Down has now been relegated to Sunday night eTV movie reruns, Butler will once again be resuming his role as badass Secret Service agent Mike Banning, and this time he’s headed to Old Blighty! (That’s Britain for those of you who weren’t around during WWI)
Along with the location swap from Washington to London, Swedish filmmaker Babak Najafi (Snabba Cash II) steps in for Antoine Fuqua, who wasn’t a fan of the sequel’s planned direction and so booked out early in the production. Whether Fuqua was on to something is not inherently clear from the film’s first trailer which just dropped last night. While it certainly looks to have the requisite genre-mandated number of explosions and snarky one-liners (and hopefully more head-stabbings) to keep me properly entertained, there’s a slight lack of that grit that I enjoyed so much about the first film. This could possibly be due to the film’s much larger scope and glossier feel, or it could be the film’s drop from the R-rating of its predecessor to a more commercially amenable PG-13 – because that’s worked out so well in the past for action movie sequels.
Either way, I would still advise you to check out the trailer below, because the world can never have enough badass action heroes who can blow up stuff while hanging out of a moving car.
London Has Fallen begins after the British Prime Minister passes away. His funeral then becomes a target of a terrorist organization to destroy some of the world’s most powerful leaders, devastate the British capital, and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. The only hope of stopping it rests on the shoulders of the President of the United States (Eckhart) and his formidable Secret Service head, and an English MI-6 agent who rightly trusts no one.
London Has Fallen also stars Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, and Waleed Zuaiter. It is scheduled to open worldwide on March 4, 2016.
Last Updated: November 6, 2015