It’s been ages ago since I first braved the idea of watching a movie in the cinema all by lonesome self – a feat I found liberating. Hence, I was excited at the prospect of doing a repeat, having forgotten what it was like to be without any date inside a movie house.
I went on a weekday to catch the first screening so I won’t have to contend with a packed audience. Prior to my trip to the cinema, I was totally unaware of the movie titles on exhibit. London Has Fallen won me over. I did not have the chance to either see a trailer of it or read a synopsis or film review about it. But at the conclusion of the flick, I was glad about my pick.
It is easy enough to guess what the film’s plot hinges on, as the first few frames are splattered with news reports and video images of terrorist attacks in different parts of the globe (take note, with mention of Manila, Philippines).
I am not so much a fan of action films, but this is one of those few and far between productions that got me hooked from beginning to end, considering that the screening time was immediately after lunch. There was not a dull or dragging scene. Sequences were tight and action-packed, keeping me awake, upright and at the edge of my seat as I held bated breath in anticipation of what would happen next. Tender scenes between Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) and his wife Leah (Radha Mitchell), Mike’s bitter farewell to his dying superior (Angela Bassett), and later on, the arrival of Mike’s and Leah’s firstborn, provide the soft element to temper the harsh component of the entire movie.
The cast did a superb acting job. Apart from Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart, worth citing for their convincing character portrayals are Morgan Freeman as US Vice-President Allan Trumbull, Angela Bassett as US Secret Service Director, Charlotte Riley as British M16 agent, and Radha Mitchell as wife of Mike Banning. Not to be outdone are the villainous father and son characters of Alon Moni Aboutboul as Aamir Barkawi and Waleed Zuaiter as Barkawi’s son Kamran. But as is common in action movies that verge on the superhero fiction genre, the major characters are just too indestructibly invincible.
This motion picture confronts us with the ugly face of terrorism. It sends down shivers down the spine because the reality of misguided forces waging war against an innocent world stares us in the face, especially in the wake of the spate of violent attacks in different parts of the world, the most recent of which were in Paris and Brussels. The film’s security breaches in communications, infiltration by a band of mercenaries of an entire police force and the undetected ground works clandestinely laid down by the terrorist group in preparation for D-day may appear like the product of an ultra-imaginative mind. Yet we can only wonder if any place, even in the First World countries, has the intelligence capability to monitor and subvert any such attack of a major scale, let alone the readiness to respond.
But we all know that evil can never win, even if it seems to get the upper hand for now. At the final round, the outcome had been revealed in Scriptures – the powers of darkness in this world will one day be trampled underfoot once and for all.