Time for another terrific anti-terrorist blockbuster! It follows suit after Olympus Has Fallen, and although the terrorist scheme looms bigger, bolder, and better in all ways, it comes across a bit artificial and angled. I really wish they'd chosen to make a sequel to White House Down instead.
For starters: there's just too much patriotism. Even the professionals who're supposed to be ice cool under any circumstance (like Jax) seem to get a bit emotionally involved when some higher-up (such as the President) is being threatened. At times it's all clean and professional, at times it's like that. And of course, the terrorists are made to be the bad guys, and to make mistakes, and the Americans the good guys who don't; especially the President is portrayed as an impeccable individual. He doesn't break down in the face of anything, even if he does look a bit lost sometimes.
It feels like they tried to make him human, but didn't go all the way. Just like the terrorists initially seemed pretty devious and sharp, and professional, but in the end they do just what you'd expect them to - they make mistakes, and their hateful 'true nature' shines though their facade of calm and professionalism. I feel it would've been better if all of this could've been less according to stereotype; more like it was in the beginning. And what's up with all world leaders dying, except the president, even though he's supposedly the main target?
I do like how they took the terrorist threat to the next level, with an all-out country-wide surprise attack. No threats, just bam! Infiltration. Mole. Army. The whole shebang. A strike straight to the capital of England, and the action's brutal. It's realistic too, apart from that one thing about how Banning (and the President) keep surviving time and time again, though their odds are as low as possible. Wouldn't be much of a movie if it was otherwise though.
There's some interesting first-person-like footage of the action fests too. Overall, it is a good action movie, and they add a little family mumbo-jumbo for closure, and maybe to make Banning seem a bit more human; less like a killing machine. He's almost worse than the terrorists, though of course it's all for a good cause. Is it all really necessary? Well no, probably not, as he would say, but it did make for a spectacular blockbuster rampage. It's still not White House Down, but it's not bad anyway.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
It was as bad as I remembered it. Actually probably even worse.
I started doubting after the helicopter crash, and the both so emotional and so very chaotic prelude before it. That part was really good.
All that terrorist crap after, though? It gets out of control. Villains you sympathize with and heroes who don't give a shit. All too little nuance, though it seemed like they might have wanted some initially. A SAS team that comes second to an American grunt, and people all over the world bearing witness to the president's pickle in horror when they just had their own leaders slaughtered?! Not a mention of them. They're dead and gone. Everybody mourn the American man instead though he doesn't even die.
I feel like they try to take the patriotism a bit too far with this one. Abroad. It belongs in the US. Especially when they bring the president and Banning along for the ride. When they're the government all other governments are expected to follow orders of.
A few allies do present themselves but they're not of much use, and they're all portrayed with a level of stereotype that just makes the cringe hit even harder. Feel like I might have felt similarly about some movies of the past. Most recently with Battleship, maybe...?
I didn't remember there was as much of that stuff in here, and it's a shame, because this could have been a great movie.
There's still plenty of grit, though not nearly as emotional moments as in the last one. I feel like that might be because they affirm that emotion the wrong way sometimes. By focusing on foreigners who wouldn't innately feel the the same emotions in regard to Americans.
Banning comes across a bit more shallow too, and a lot less professional, running straight into gunfire and all, like he has the ability to dodge bullets whilst running right at them, when even highly trained SAS soldiers fall left and right. The president's still great though. There's a few memorable dialog swaps between him and Banning (after torturing a terrorist: "Was that necessary?!" "No.")... and a whole lot more action.
It's almost like they tried borrowing a bit from White House Down. With the casual relationship between Banning and The Prez, with The Prez getting in on the action sometimes, and with the style of action overall. With Gerard frequently jumping through walls and windows and what-not. Authenticity - the strength of the former movie - out the window. Along with Butler.
But it does look cool.
Other things that irk me: That they filmed Morgan Freeman in his hallway scene as if he was dead and they were just cutting in his footage - you never see both him and Gerard in the same shot. How all the British dudes apart from Banning's contact are totally incompetent. The overly stereotypical British conversation form (feels like you can hear their disdain for that part of the script in their fake laughs) in their also seemingly very unrealistic one-room meeting when they're planning the funeral.
Maybe I have stereotypes too though. If they really act and sit like that over there: apologies. It just seems like a clear reflection both of the American layout and a conversation ditto would write on their behalf.
It started good, but after the helicopter crash my dislike for this movie comes back fast, and I hate that not only did Olympus Had Fallen outperform White House Down when it came out - unjustly so, I feel, since despite the comparatively somewhat superficial plot it had some real depth and message, and holy shit the emotional showcase sometimes - now they even try to make this more like that one!
The wrong movie got the sequel. Wonder how White House Down would've handled this.
I guess if you're American maybe you'll enjoy this.
If you're not? Just don't become a terrorist now.
It ain't worth it.
rated 3/5: not bad