London Has Fallen (2016)

London Has Fallen
Director: Babak Najafi
Writer: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Christian Gudegast, Chad St. John
Sequel to: Olympus Has Fallen
Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Radha Mitchell, Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Alon Aboutboul
Seen on: 13.3.2016

Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is about to resign from his job in the Secret Service as the bodyguard of President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), despite the fact that he and Asher are very close indeed. But Mike’s wife Leah (Radha Mitchell) is expecting and he wants to take it more slowly when the kid arrives. Before that, though, news that the English Prime Minister died reaches Asher. It’s clear that like most of the world’s most prominent politicians, Asher will have to attend the funeral in London and Mike will come with him. But an event like that is the perfect place for an attack – which is just what happens, leaving Mike and Benjamin stranded in London, fighting for survival.

I really hadn’t planned on seeing this. I pretty much hated Olympus Has Fallen (much preferring White House Down) and so putting myself through the sequel seemed like a non-starter. But then puzzledpeaces made puppy eyes at me and I found myself packing a whole lot of alcohol and resigning myself to my fate. It turns out that London Has Fallen is not necessarily a better film than Olympus Has Fallen, but it is more entertaining. Do take that as the very faint praise it is, though.

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Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Olympus Has Fallen
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Finley Jacobsen, Dylan McDermott,
Rick Yune, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Ashley Judd

Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) was President Asher’s (Aaron Eckhart) first bodyguard and friend. Until he wasn’t able to safe the life of the First Lady (Ashley Judd). 18 months later he’s working a desk job even though he wants nothing more than to get back at the president’s side. Then the White House is attacked, the president is being held hostage in his own bunker and Mike finds himself in the middle of things, trying his best to save everyone.

I didn’t expect Olympus Has Fallen to be any good. @kathrintha and I went in with a bottle of alcohol and the distinct suspicion that it was going to be awful. We had no idea how awful though and when we ran out of (ready-made) Mojito half-way through, the movie became pretty much unbearable.


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Green Lantern (2011)

Green Lantern is Martin Campbell‘s adaptation of the DC comics. The film was written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg and stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins, Taika Waititi, Michael Clarke Duncan, Geoffrey Rush and Angela Bassett.

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a fighter pilot and basically the definition of irresponsibility. One day Hal stumbles upon a dying alien, Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison). Abin Sur is a Green Lantern, an intergalactic police force. His power source is a ring that can harness will power and which choses Hal to be Abin Sur’s successor. So Hal gets drawn into the world of the Green Lanterns and their biggest foe Parallax (Clancy Brown).

Green Lantern is not a particularly good film. Fortunately for its entertainment value it’s a pretty craptastic film. Would it have hurt if it had made a little more sense? [Topless Robot pretty much takes apart all the plot holes. In a very entertaining way.] Probably not. But then the movie would have had to leave out a few of the bad green screen scenes in front of fake sunsets – and really, who would want that?


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Strange Days (1995)

[Part of the Science Fiction special in the Vienna Filmmuseum.]

Strange Days is a film by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D’Onofrio, William Fichtner.

1999: Lenny (Ralph Fiennes) is a former cop who now makes his money by selling discs that can be inserted into the so-called SQUIDs: machines that can record everything a person experiences and can play it back to somebody else so that they experience it themselves. These recordings are illegal, and often record illegal things happening. Lenny’s life is pretty pathetic, he barely makes enough money to survive and he still dreams of his ex-girlfriend Faith (Juliette Lewis). The only constants in his life are his friends Max (Tom Sizemore) and Mace (Angela Bassett). In the middle of the world preparing for the new millenium, Lenny stumbles upon a conspiracy somehow involving Faith.

Strange Days is a pretty fantastic movie. The cast is great, the ideas interesting and even though the camera moves practically all the time, it never gets too shaky. The weakest point is the script, though – the big twist at the end is way too obvious, most of the characters are a little flimsy and the dialogue hurts a bit sometimes.

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