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Film / London Has Fallen

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"Make those fuckers pay."
"London is just the first stop. Just imagine every major city, descending into chaos. Your president dies tonight."
Aamir Barkawi

London Has Fallen is a 2016 action thriller and the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen. It is directed by Babak Najafi and, like its predecessor, stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman.

After serving under President Asher for two years, Mike Banning is contemplating retiring after he discovers that his wife is pregnant. However, just as he begins to have second thoughts, Asher and Banning learn that the British Prime Minister has died under mysterious circumstances. When Asher and Banning travel to London to attend his funeral with several world leaders, they soon find out that a terrorist cell is targeting the world leaders, and it's up to Banning to save the day once again as the terrorists rain chaos upon London.

A sequel, Angel Has Fallen, was released on August 23, 2019.

No relation to Fallen London.

London Has Fallen contains examples of:

  • Action Politician: President Benjamin Asher. In the MI6 safe house he shoots a terrorist who is about to kill Banning, and is later seen wielding a submachine gun when Banning breaks him out of the terrorists' base at the end of the film where he helps in the gunfight.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Banning chooses not to resign at the end of the movie so he can continue protecting the President from attacks such as the ones carried out by Barkawi.
  • Arms Dealer: Barkawi mainly sells to terrorists as opposed to actively being one. Unfortunately, this means that, when he decides to actually engage in terrorism, his men are extremely well-armed.
  • Artistic License:
    • Being a domestic terrorist incident, MI5 would be used instead of MI6.
    • The contact at the Met Police is referred to as Chief Inspector. He is wearing the insignia of the Commissioner and would have been referred to as such.
    • In real life, the large scale infiltration of Metropolitan Police, first responder, and Queen's Guard units by the terrorists would have been practically impossible.explanation 
  • Artistic License Geography: The President escapes back to Marine One at Somerset House, flies as fast as possible towards Stansted Airport, the helicopter crashes, and the survivors run back, swiftly finding themselves at Charing Cross Underground station - less than half a mile from Somerset House.
  • Artistic License History: The President says he has to go to the PM's funeral, describing the United Kingdom as their oldest allies. France is the USA's oldest ally, the treaty being signed less than a year after American independence. The UK and USA only became allies outright during World War I.
  • Artistic License Military: The lowest officer rank in the SAS is Captain, so properly the SAS troop leader should not have been a lieutenant.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Vice President Trumbull gives this one:
      Vice President Allan Trumbull: To those who threaten our freedom: America will rise up. And make no mistake; we will find you, and we will destroy you.
    • Banning also gives one to Kamran during the Final Battle while beating the shit out of him:
      Banning:You know what you guys don't get? We're not a fucking building! *punch* We're not a fucking flag! *punch* We're not just one man! *punch* Assholes like you have been trying to kill us for a long fucking time. But you know what? A thousand years from now? We'll still fucking be here.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: At one point, a mook has Banning at gunpoint and we hear a shot. It turns out that the mook was shot by President Asher.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: The President tells Banning that, if necessary, he wants him to kill him so his execution won't be used as propaganda for the terrorists. Banning doesn't get a chance since the terrorists ram their SUV with a truck and Banning is knocked unconscious long enough for the terrorists to grab the President.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Aamir Barkawi, a Pakistani Arms Dealer supplying weapons and explosives to terrorists and failed states across the globe and his son Kamran, who while only being The Dragon, is the more direct antagonist of the film.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the Final Battle, Mike bursts in on the room to save Asher from being executed before engaging Kamran in a brutal fistfight, a direct Call-Back to Olympus Has Fallen.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Mike saves President Asher and the terrorists including Barkawi are dead. However, so are the countless innocent civilians, the other world leaders, and Lynne Jacobs.
  • Brave Scot: The SAS Lieutenant is definitely this.
  • Brutal Honesty: Banning is about to attack some terrorists and tells Asher to hide in a safe room. If anyone but him enters, shoot them. Asher asks what will happen if Banning doesn't come back. "You're fucked," he says.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Subverted. A bulletproof vest is not knife proof. Banning manages to stab one of the terrorists infiltrating the MI6 hideout very easily, despite him wearing heavy body armor. And he gets stabbed himself near the end.
  • Captain Obvious: When the president and his detail are attacked outside St. Paul's Cathedral by terrorists disguised as police officers, one of the Secret Service agents can be heard shouting "Shit, they're not real cops!" in the background.
  • Car Bomb:
    • A terrorist disguised as a cop hides it in a mirror ironically used to check for such devices underneath vehicles, and then attaches it to the underside of the Canadian Prime Minister's car under the guise of such a search.
    • Suicide bombers disguised as ambulance drivers detonates several car bombs on Chelsea Bridge, causing it to collapse and send the Japanese Prime Minister's car tumbling into the Thames, killing him.
    • During the scene where Banning and Asher leave the MI6 safehouse, car bombs are part of the gauntlet the terrorists are using to try to stop them
  • Call-Back: Whilst being beaten and facing imminent death, the only thing President Asher does it recite the presidential oath of office, much like how Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan recited the pledge of allegiance whilst being dragged to her supposed death in the first film.
  • Cavalry Betrayal:
    • The first Delta Team sent to extract the President from the MI6 safehouse turn out to be terrorists in disguise.
    • We also have a more downplayed example with the British government as a whole, who refuse the military permission to deploy soldiers to the streets of London, as they don't want to risk the city becoming "another Fallujah" or risk shooting actual police officers instead of the terrorists disguised as police. It doesn't help either that there is a traitor in their ranks.
  • Chekhov's Skill: President Asher is shown to be a good runner at the start of the film, which later proves useful when he and Banning are forced to flee on foot after Marine One is shot down.
  • Collective Groan: By the President and other Secret Service agents after Banning makes a rather lame running pun whilst out on a jog with Asher.
    Mike Banning: Hell of a presidential race sir!
    President Benjamin Asher: Every day the same damn joke.
  • Cool Guns: Sig P229, Sig P226, Glock 17, VZ 61 Skorpion, MP5, MP5K, UMP, HK 416, AK and variants - this film runs on this trope.
  • Deadpan Snarker: President Asher, when Sultan and Kamran are trying to reconnect to the internet to broadcast his execution after the SAS and Delta Team take out the primary generators.
    President Benjamin Asher: Technology, huh? Only as good as the dumb shits using it.
  • Death of a Child: When the German Chancellor and her detail are mowed down by disguised terrorists outside Buckingham Palace, a young girl who offered them a white rose is also killed.
  • Decapitation Strike: A group of terrorists try to simultaneously assassinate all the leaders of the G7 as they attend the funeral of the British prime minister. Of course, the American president is the only one to survive.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ruth McMillan, the Secretary of Defense. In the first film she was at the centre of the action along with the President and Banning, whereas in this she has much less screen time and simply watches the action unfold from the Situation Room.
  • Disposable Woman: Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs, who is fatally injured when Marine One crash lands.
  • Distressed Dude: President Asher. The number of times Asher has had to be rescued by the end of this movie gets somewhat ridiculous, if you count the first movie as well. Even Banning expresses frustration on how much effort he's had to put into keeping him alive.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Kamran answers to Barkawi, but he's the one leading the terrorist attack on London.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: While the Brits with Battleships are unable to respond (see Cavalry Betrayal example above), members of the British Special Air Service, as well as an American Delta Force unit teams up with Banning at the end to take on the terrorists' stronghold.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The motivation of Barkawi's Roaring Rampage of Revenge is because of a drone strike that crippled his sons and killed his daughter on her wedding day.
  • Evil Cripple:
    • Two years after the prologue, Barkawi is shown walking with a cane presumably due to the previous drone attack.
    • Sultan Mansoor loses both his legs in the drone attack, and is now confined to a wheelchair as he masterminds the technical side of the attack.
  • Eye Scream: A mook is killed with a knife through his eye.
  • Final Battle: Occurs when Banning along with a team of SAS and Delta Force commandos attack the terrorist headquarters at the end.
  • Ghost City: After the initial attacks, the British government issues a warning for all residents to stay in their homes, resulting in the streets of London being mainly deserted (save for Banning, the President and the terrorists). The fact that the terrorists also disable the power grid means that the city is also in a state of darkness throughout the evening and during the Final Battle.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Zigzagged. As professionals, Mike Banning and the other Secret Service use Sig P229's and 226's. Terrorists use HK G36's, MP5's and MP5K's, which can be either good or bad guns, depending upon user. Also lampshaded with the Terrorist dressed as a policeman when Mike points out his AK is not usual police issue. Undercover terrorists use Glock 17's and SA80's when posing as good guys.
  • The Heavy: Kamran, Aamir's son, drives most of the plot for the movie due to his father never setting foot in London and staying at his headquarters in Yemen.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The pilots of Marine Two, who fly the helicopter into the path of a heat seeking missile aimed for Marine One.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Averted for once near the end, both Delta Force and SAS take cover and use flanking maneuvers.
  • Hope Spot:
    • After shooting through several of Barkawi's terrorists, the President, Banning, and several others safely make it to Marine One, the President's personal chopper. Cue Stinger heat-seeking missiles...
    • Banning and the President go through the terrorist blockade with a bulletproof SUV with the US Embassy is in sight, they celebrate. Cue big-ass truck...
  • Hypocrite: The film's Greater-Scope Villain Aamir Barkawi. Barkawi defends he never took any rash action against London, but Trumbull points out he armed the terrorists who did participate in the invasion. Also Barkawi is infamous for not only killing people who fail him, but also killing their entire families, because he believes strongly that punishment must be total. However, when his own family is accidentally killed in a drone strike meant for him, he feels completely justified in going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the entire G20.
  • Idiot Ball: John Lancaster, the traitor within the British government is very ineffective at covering his tracks. He leaves his access code visible on the police security systems, showing that it was him who disabled the city's surveillance infrastructure. Later, when trying to escape, he drives a GPS fitted government car to his escape vehicle, allowing Jax to easily track him down. Even she remarks that by being so inept he "took all the fun" out of hunting him down.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Lynne Jacobs is found with shrapnel stuck in her abdomen after Marine One crashes.
  • Impersonating an Officer: How the terrorists are able to effectively carry out their large scale attacks.
    • Most of them are disguised as London Metropolitan Police officers, which not only enables them to get close to the world leaders and kill them but also to lure genuine police officers into deadly traps and take them out as well. This results in the British Army being unwilling to deploy troops to the streets of London, as they risk shooting actual police officers instead of the terrorists.
    • The two terrorists who shoot the German Chancellor and her security detail at Buckingham Palace are disguised as Royal Guards.
    • Several terrorists also disguise themselves as US Army Delta Operators when they breach the MI6 safehouse to kidnap the President.
  • Impostor Forgot One Detail:
    • President Asher is visibly shocked when Mike seemingly crushed a policemans windpipe whilst they are on the run in London. Mike, however, assures him he is a terrorist due to the fact he was carrying an AK-47 and grenades; hardly standard police issue.
    • How Banning deduces that the "Delta Team" who arrive at the MI6 safehouse are actually imposters. The real Delta Team were to be dropped multiple blocks away from the safehouse and proceed there on foot, so would naturally be sweating buckets by the time they arrived given how heavy their equipment and gear is. However, he notices on zoomed in CCTV footage that none of the "operators" are sweating at all, suggesting they were dropped right outside and are actually terrorists.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Mike smacks a mook in the throat with a blunt object. Instead of merely knocking him out, the blow ruptures his windpipe and suffocates him.
  • Ironic Echo: Barkawi contacts the Vice President and says "I thought you'd take my call" when he answers. At the end of the film, Vice President Trumbull repeats that line, just as Barkawi's headquarters are hit by a drone strike.
  • Just Plane Wrong: The helicopters used by the President and his delegation are referred to as Marine One, Two and Three. Marine Two is used by the Vice President and Marine Three isn't used.
  • Killing in Self-Defense: Jax Marshall shoots John Lancaster, the mole within the British government, after he makes a grab for a handgun in the back of his car.
  • Million Mook March: The Barkawi's have a ridiculous number of terrorists under their command to carry out the attacks. There are over 100 just inside their base of operations, not including the many others spread throughout the city.
  • Mistaken for Terrorist: Banning and other members of the Secret Service (possibly) kill members of the Metropolitan Police force during the terrorists' first wave of attacks. Considering many of the terrorists were dressed just like them, this was to be expected.
  • The Mole: John Lancaster, the MI-5 Intelligence Chief, who was on Barkawi's payroll and aided him in crippling London's security in wake of the attacks.
  • Monumental Damage: Lampshaded by a newscaster after the main attack has concluded. Also justified. Since world leaders are visiting for a state funeral, naturally the terrorist attacks would hit sites of cultural significance where the events are being held.
  • No Name Given: The junior MI6 agent in the safehouse.
  • Not So Invincible After All:
    • The film is rather effective in showing that despite being Weaponized Cars, the vehicles used by government agencies are not indestructible.
      • The presidential limousine, also known as "The Beast", is immune to bullets and small explosions. However, a terrorist uses a thermite grenade to burn through the hood and the engine, disabling the car.
      • Despite the wind shield of the a secret service SUV evacuating President Asher being bulletproof, when the terrorists concentrate their fire on one section of it the glass eventually gives way, killing the driver and forcing Jacobs to take the wheel.
      • The MI6 SUV Asher and Banning utilize to try and make it to the US Embassy is armoured and has bulletproof glass. This protects them from arms fire, but doesn't offer much help when they are rammed full on by a large truck.
  • Newscaster Cameo:
    • Lawrence O'Donnell once again makes a cameo as an American news reporter as he did in the previous film.
    • British news outlet Sky News appears as the only real-life news channel throughout the film.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Despite being the mastermind of the terrorist attack, Barkawi never sets foot in London.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Aamir's call to the White House Situation room, where he calls out on the American's hypocrisy.
    Aamir: I never lifted a finger against you.
    Trumbull: You armed those who have.
    Aamir: I sold triggers Mr. Trumbull, just like you.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The White House Situation Room has one when President Asher is put on screen for his execution, which is being livestreamed all over the world.
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus during the Outrun the Fireball example described below, with President Asher giving the look just before he and Banning drop into the elevator shaft to escape the firestorm. To his credit, they were running towards an advancing inferno just to get into said shaft.
  • The Oner: The Final Battle starts out with a glorious one, tracking the SAS and Banning as they wage a gun battle with the terrorist stronghold and manage to avert Hollywood Tactics. In all, the scene appears to be two and a half minutes of unbroken footage.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Banning and President Asher manage to escape one after jumping into an elevator shaft during the incineration of the terrorist's hideout. Bonus points in that they had to run straight towards it first in order to get into the shaft, which was located on the side but closer to the source of the fireball than they were.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Several of the fake Metropolitan Police have glaringly obvious facial hair, which might pass unnoticed by the crowds but didn't get noticed by the police, probably chalked up to the incredible strain put on them by the suddenness of the funeral.
  • Plot Armor: When the president's helicopter is shot down, everyone onboard dies except Banning and Asher, who both walk away without any serious injuries. Also many times aside from this terrorist gunmen fail to hit or even fire at them.
  • Plot-Triggering Death
    • The entire movie's plot was triggered by a drone strike on the Barkawi's residence killing his only daughter, during her wedding.
    • The British Prime Minister's death is what drew all the world leaders together in one city to begin with, giving Barkawi a perfect opportunity to kill several of them. It is later found out the death was not natural but a poisoning by the terrorists
  • Police Are Useless: Given the size and manpower of the Metropolitan Police, very few of them are seen responding to the multiple attacks throughout London. Most of the actual officers seen on screen (save those in Box Command) are quickly taken out by terrorists disguised as fellow police officers. They have been pulled back due to not wanting more lives risked.
  • Product Placement:
    • The majority of the characters are seen using Apple computers and laptops.
    • The Canadian motorcade is made up entirely of Jeep SUV's.
  • Rank Up:
    • Allan Trumbull, the former Speaker of the House, is now Vice President after the death of Charlie Rodriquez in the previous film.
    • General Edward Clegg, the former Army Chief of Staff, is now the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after the death of Admiral Joe Hoenig in the previous film.
  • Redshirt Army:
    • Many members of the London Metropolitan Police are taken out by the terrorists, made easier by the fact that most of them are disguised in police uniforms.
    • A good chunk of Lt. Davis' SAS commandos are wiped out very quickly when Banning and his men storm Kamran's headquarters.
  • Rousing Speech: Lampshaded rather humorously when Mike is prepping President Asher just before the terrorists attack the MI6 safehouse.
    Mike: Stay here, stay down, and if anyone but me comes through that door empty that into them.
    President Asher: What if you don't come back?
    Mike: You're fucked. *closes door*
    President Asher: That was inspiring.
  • Scenery Gorn: Barkawi's terrorists really tear the city apart and destroy many well-known landmarks. Even the posters gleefully show London either in turmoil, or Big Ben on the verge of exploding.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: Unlike the first film, which took place primarily in the US, the locations in this one include the UK, Pakistan and Yemen.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: After infiltrating the terrorists' compound, Mike tricks two groups of terrorists into shooting each other.
  • Sinister Surveillance: In their second wave attack, the terrorists cut out the power to the city, and more importantly lock the Metropolitan Police out of accessing London's vast number of CCTV cameras. Jax later mentions that the terrorists have been using their access to the CCTV to target and get the drop on first responders, as well as tracking Mike and President Asher.
  • Shout-Out: During the terrorist attack, Banning can be heard saying "Let's get to the chopper!". In a later scene, Banning tells Asher, "Stay here. I'll be back." During the Final Battle, Asher taunts Kamran with, "That is the sound of inevitability" when Mike storms the hideout.
  • So Much for Stealth: At one point during the Final Battle, Banning sneaks into the enemy headquarters and takes out enemies in the dark while wearing night vision goggles. It doesn't last too long.
  • South Asian Terrorists: Aamir Barkawi is Pakistani.
  • Storming the Castle: Banning and an army of SAS soldiers and US Delta Force commandos attack the terrorist compound at the end of the film.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Lynne Jacobs doesn't make it past the initial attacks.
  • Suicide by Cop: Implied with John Lancaster at the end, reaching for his sidearm when he is cornered and given an opportunity to surrender by Jax.
  • Tears of Fear: Lynne Jacobs sheds one as a missile hones in unavoidably on Marine One.
  • Title Drop: During the final scene. "In the words of Prime Minister Clarkson: London may have fallen, but it has always endured, and will rise again."
  • Took a Level in Badass: President Asher. Compared to the first film, where he spent most of his time held hostage, the President actually assists Banning during a couple of firefights, and even saves him with a well-timed Boom, Headshot! to a terrorist.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The trailers don't even try to hide President Asher getting kidnapped by the terrorists.
    • The trailers also spoil Marine One getting shot down.
  • Villain Ball: After the terrorists crash the SUV Banning and the President are traveling in, they drag the President out first before deciding to shoot Banning, giving him time to gain consciousness and grab his weapon.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Kamran tries to do this during his fight with Banning at the end, thanks to his brother Sultan dropping a live grenade in his dying breaths. He doesn't get far when his headquarters is destroyed. He takes one look around the corner, sees the fireball heading his way and just accepts his demise, closing his eyes and lets the flames engulf him.
  • The War Room:
    • The Situation Room in the White House.
    • Cabinet Office Briefing Room A (COBRA) in 10 Downing Street.
    • Metropolitan Police Box Command in New Scotland Yard.
  • Wedding Smashers: A villainous yet tragic one, when a drone strike meant to kill Barkawi in the prologue, instead kills his daughter on her wedding day.
  • Western Terrorists: Although most of the men working for Barkawi are Middle Eastern, several are also Caucasian. This is later explained by Jax Marshall, who states that the terrorist are not from one country or ethnic group, but a collection of "people from every country and group that fucking hates us".
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Lampshaded. Sultan outright tells Kamran to kill the President before the building is overrun. Kamran insists on broadcasting the death, and the President is subsequently saved. Not to mention that Kamran chose to use a machete to decapitate Asher instead of a rifle or pistol, which Banning easily breaks into pieces before giving Kamran one helluva beatdown with a Badass Boast to boot.

"To those who threaten our freedom: America will rise up. And make no mistake; we will find you, and we will destroy you."