London Has Fallen

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London Has Fallen
London Has Fallen poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Babak Najafi
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Creighton Rothenberger
  • Katrin Benedikt
Based on Characters
by Creighton Rothenberger
Katrin Benedikt
Starring
Music by Trevor Morris
Cinematography Ed Wild
Edited by
  • Paul Martin Smith
  • Michael Duthie
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
  • March 1, 2016 (2016-03-01) (Hollywood)
  • March 4, 2016 (2016-03-04) (United States)
Running time
99 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[3]
Box office $205.8 million[4]

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, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Sean O'Bryan, Waleed Zuaiter and Charlotte Riley in supporting roles. It is the second installment in the Has Fallen franchise.

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 and grossed $205 million worldwide.

A third film, titled Angel Has Fallen, is expected to start production in 2017.

Plot[edit]

Western intelligence services (particularly the G8) collaborate to identify Pakistani arms dealer and terrorist leader Aamir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul) as the mastermind behind several terrorist attacks around the world, specifically a devastating hotel bombing in Manila, and authorize an American drone strike on Barkawi's compound, apparently killing Barkawi and his family.

Two years later, after the death of UK Prime Minister James Wilson, world leaders from the major Western countries, including US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) make plans to attend his funeral in London. Secret Service agent and Asher's close friend, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is assigned by Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs (Angela Bassett) to oversee the President's schedule there, despite the fact that Banning's wife, Leah (Radha Mitchell), is due to give birth to their child in a few weeks.

After arriving via Air Force One at Stansted Airport, Banning pushes the President's arrival forward, directing Marine One to take them to Somerset House and then by car to St Paul's Cathedral. As they arrive, several attacks coordinated by Barkawi's son Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter) are executed by terrorists disguised as Metropolitan Police, the Queen's Guardsmen, and other first responders, damaging several London landmarks and eliminating five of the attending world leaders; Canadian Prime Minister Robert Bowman and his wife are the first to be killed when a bomb destroys their limo in Trafalgar Square; German Chancellor Agnes Bruckner is fatally shot by two assassins outside Buckingham Palace; Japanese Prime Minister Tsutomu Nakushima and his driver are killed on Chelsea Bridge when two suicide car bombers destroy the support spans, causing it to collapse into the Thames; Italian Prime Minister Antonio Gusto and his wife are killed when a bomb decimates one of Westminster Abbey's bell towers; and finally French President Jacques Mainard is killed when a barge containing explosives detonates next to his boat, also damaging Lambeth Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. At St Paul's, despite heavy losses, Banning helps get Asher and Jacobs to cover when the disguised terrorists turn on them, and they manage to reach Somerset House. Marine One takes off with two escorts, but terrorists with Stinger missiles destroy the escorts before damaging Marine One, forcing it to crash-land in Hyde Park. Though Asher and Banning are unharmed, Jacobs has been fatally wounded, and she makes Banning promise to get back at the perpetrators before dying. Banning leads Asher to the London Underground as most of the city's power, including its CCTV, is disabled and its residents take shelter.

US Vice President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and members of the President's staff work with British authorities to determine what has happened, when Trumbull is contacted by Barkawi operating out of Yemen, admitting he is behind the attacks, and threatening to kill millions more if Asher isn't handed to him. They learn that Wilson was poisoned to death to lure the leaders to London. Knowing that Barkawi has spent the last two years planning, Trumbull orders the staff to review Barkawi's known associates to find a lead. He also supports police chief Kevin Hazard's (Colin Salmon) decision to stand down all first responders, believing that the terrorists will blow their cover by disobeying this order. Meanwhile, Banning disables a group of terrorists that followed them to the Underground through Charing Cross Station, and contacts Kamran, who promises that if he captures the President, they will broadcast his execution across the Internet. Banning leads Asher to a nearby MI6 safehouse, pausing at street level long enough to relay a message to Trumbull via satellite monitoring.

Banning and Asher meet MI6 agent Jacqueline "Jax" Marshall (Charlotte Riley), who briefs them on the situation. Upon discovering Barkawi's involvement, Asher explains that Barkawi survived the airstrike, which killed his daughter and son-in-law. Jax reveals a message from Trumbull regarding extraction, and Banning verifies its authenticity. However, when cameras outside the safehouse pick up a Delta Force team approaching, Banning realizes that they arrived far too quickly, as well as that they're going round the back of the safehouse after finding the front door locked, and believes they are terrorists. Banning has Jax evacuate while he distracts the terrorists long enough to drive off with Asher. They are side-swiped by a truck; Banning is briefly incapacitated, and the terrorists drag Asher off to an unknown location. While interrogating a terrorist, Banning is saved by the real combined Delta Force/SAS squad who had been en route for extracting the President.

Trumbull's staff discover a London building owned under one of Barkawi's companies, which British intelligence says is under construction but has been drawing an unexpected amount of power with a lack of communication, and come to believe this is where Barkawi's headquarters are. Banning joins the squad as they assault the terrorist-guarded building, and infiltrates the building as Kamran starts to beat up the President. Just before 8:00 PM, Banning arrives at the room Kamran is in, wounds him and rescues Asher, before ordering the SAS commander to blow up the building as he and Asher take shelter in an elevator shaft; the blast wipes Kamran and the other terrorists out. As Asher and Banning are safely escorted out for extraction, Trumbull contacts Barkawi, informs him that they have recovered the President, and that he should look outside. Barkawi is killed by a second drone strike, despite his vows that the war will continue. Meanwhile, after restoring the CCTV access, Jax discovers that Barkawi had been aided by MI5 Intelligence Chief John Lancaster (Patrick Kennedy), and kills him.

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

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Casting[edit]

Butler, Eckhart, Freeman, Bassett, Leo, Forster and Mitchell reprised their roles from Olympus Has Fallen.[5] 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.[15] 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.[16] On August 18, 2014, it was announced that Charlie Countryman director Fredrik Bond would take over direction from Fuqua,[17] but Bond left the film on September 18, six weeks before the shooting was to begin.[18] On September 28, director Babak Najafi signed on to direct the film.[8] On October 10, Jackie Earle Haley joined the film to play Deputy Chief Mason.[10] 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.[11]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on October 24, 2014, in London.[7][19] 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.[20] 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.[21] Butler and Angela Bassett were seen filming in Somerset House.[22] Butler stated in an interview that the movie was also filmed in India and was to continue in Bulgaria.[23] The President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, visited the set of London Has Fallen during filming at Boyana Cinema Center in Bulgaria.[24][25] Filming lasted through April 2015.[8]

Score[edit]

The music was composed by Trevor Morris, who provided the score for the first film.[26] The record was released on March 4, 2016, by Back Lot Music.[27]

Release[edit]

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.[1] 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.[28][29] On July 1, 2015, the film's teaser trailer was released.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] The U.S. trailer was released on November 5, 2015.[33] A new theatrical poster of the film was released on January 21, 2016.[34]

Home media[edit]

London Has Fallen was released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 14, 2016.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

London Has Fallen grossed $62.5 million in North America and $143.2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $205.7 million, against a budget of $60 million.[4] The film outgrossed its predecessor's total of $161 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).[35] 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).[36]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 25% based on 172 reviews, with an average rating of 3.9/10. The site's critical 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."[37] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 28 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[38] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale,[36] the same grade as its predecessor.[39]

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."[40] The website later picked it as the worst movie of the year.[41]

Controversy[edit]

Variety described London Has Fallen as "terrorsploitation" fantasy designed to spread fear after the November 2015 Paris attacks and "ugly, reactionary fear-mongering."[42]

The film has been called "extremely insensitive" by families of the victims of the 7/7 bombings after an early trailer was released ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attacks.[43]

Sequel[edit]

On October 26, 2016, it was announced that a sequel titled Angel Has Fallen is in development, with Gerard Butler reprising his role, as well as being more active with the making of the film as producer.[44]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Petski, Denise (May 20, 2015). "Focus Features Revives Gramercy Pictures Label For Genre Films". deadline.com. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ "LONDON HAS FALLEN (15)". British Board of Film Classification. February 4, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Box Office: ‘Zootopia’ to Take Down ‘Deadpool’ With Huge $60 Million-Plus Debut". Variety. 
  4. ^ a b "London Has Fallen (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN Sequel LONDON HAS FALLEN Moving Forward with Gerard Butler". October 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ Goldberg, Matt (November 4, 2014). "Filming begins on London Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler; First Synopsis Revealed". Collider. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Rosser, Michael (November 3, 2014). "London Has Fallen begins filming". Screen Daily. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Kit, Borys (September 28, 2014). "Troubled 'Olympus Has Fallen' Sequel Finds Director". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  9. ^ Goldberg, Matt (May 8, 2015). "First LONDON HAS FALLEN Poster Is Already Hating British Landmarks". Collider. Retrieved May 8, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (October 10, 2014). "'Olympus Has Fallen' Sequel Lands Jackie Earle Haley As First New Cast Member". thewrap.com. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Yamato, Jen (November 12, 2014). "'London Has Fallen' Adds 'Tyrant' Thesp". deadline.com. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ Miller, Phil (February 26, 2016). "Role in London has Fallen for Scottish actor marks first step into world of blockbusters". Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Alex Giannini, 'Legend' Actor, Dies at 52". 
  14. ^ "Theatre world mourns Mack & Mabel actor Alex Giannini". 
  15. ^ "London Has Fallen heads to AFM". 
  16. ^ "Focus Features Dates 'Olympus' Sequel 'London Has Fallen' For October 2015". Deadline.com. March 22, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Fredrik Bond to Direct 'Olympus Has Fallen' Sequel". Variety. August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (September 18, 2014). "'Olympus Has Fallen' Sequel Loses Its Director". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  19. ^ "First day of filming 'London Has Fallen' sequel to "Olympus Has Fallen". Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman". Nick McArdle on Instagram. October 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ Flint, Hanna (March 5, 2015). "A bloodied Gerard Butler hits the London Has Fallen set wearing a battered suit and tie with co-star Aaron Eckhart". Daily Mail.com. Retrieved March 7, 2015. 
  21. ^ "PICTURED: Helicopter makes a dramatic landing at Somerset House as Gerard Butler continues filming his new movie London Has Fallen". Daily Mail.com. March 9, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  22. ^ "PICS: Gerard Butler spotted speeding down Strand in filming of action thriller". Roar News. March 8, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  23. ^ Haq, Nilo (March 31, 2015). "Interview with Gerard Butler in Dubai". Saudi Beauty blog. Dubai. Eye candy Gerard Butler is the new ambassador for Boss Bottled 
  24. ^ "Плевнелиев: Три пъти повече филми може да се снимат у нас". btv Новините. March 24, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Bulgarian President visits London Has Fallen". Gerard Butler GALS. Bulgaria. March 24, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Trevor Morris to Return for 'London Has Fallen'". Film Music Reporter. April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  27. ^ "London Has Fallen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Apple. March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  28. ^ Lesnick, Silas (June 12, 2015). "London Has Fallen Has Moved to 2016". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved June 12, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Fox Switches 'The Martian' and 'Victor Frankenstein' Release Dates". June 10, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Watch: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart Fight for Their Lives in ‘London Has Fallen’ Teaser". Variety. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Gerard Butler film London Has Fallen SLAMMED as 'insensitive' while promoting capital's destruction days before 7/7 bombings anniversary". July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  32. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 16, 2015). "'London Has Fallen' On A New Release Date: Gerard Butler Action Film To Open March 4, 2016". deadline.com. Retrieved September 18, 2015. 
  33. ^ Sneider, Jeff (November 5, 2015). "Gerard Butler Protects Aaron Eckhart From Terrorists in 'London Has Fallen' Trailer (Video)". The Wrap. Retrieved November 5, 2015. 
  34. ^ Collis, Clark (January 21, 2016). "See the exclusive new poster for action sequel London Has Fallen". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Disney Unleashed: ‘Zootopia’ Toon Expected To Roar Past $60M – Weekend Preview". deadline.com. 
  36. ^ a b CinemaScore on Twitter (March 4, 2016). "London Has Fallen". Retrieved April 9, 2017. 
  37. ^ "London Has Fallen (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  38. ^ "London Has Fallen Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 20, 2016. 
  39. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 7, 2016). "'Zootopia' $73.7M Opening Sets Record For Original Disney Toon; 'London' Raises $21.7M; 'Whiskey' Trips". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  40. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (March 2, 2016). "Gerard Butler scowls his way through the atrocious London Has Fallen". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  41. ^ "The 20 worst films of 2016". The A.V. Club. December 15, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  42. ^ "London Has Fallen has been condemned as racist 'terrorsploitation' for the Trump era". The Independent. March 3, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  43. ^ Child, Ben (July 2, 2015). "London Has Fallen attacked for 'insensitivity' by 7/7 victims' trust". The Guardian. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  44. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (October 26, 2016). "Gerard Butler Heads To Millennium Films' Threequel 'Angel Has Fallen'". Deadline. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 

External links[edit]