“London Has Fallen” is a long, bombastic wallow in anti-Muslim hysterics. We thought it would be a diverting shoot-em-up, what with it being the sequel to 2013’s noisy, mildly preposterous “Olympus Has Fallen,” in which the White House is taken over by terrorists. But we got our trumpupence.
Here’s the story: England’s prime minister dies unexpectedly and the leaders of the free world arrive in London for the big funeral. Security is supposed to be extra tight, but a Pakistani arms dealer has — astonishingly — bought off Scotland Yard, MI6, the Beefeater Guards, every other constable and, for all we know, most of the crossing guards. His minions also have planted bombs in Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, Big Ben and eight or nine other major structures.
In short order, world leaders and world landmarks get blasted. The sole surviving head of state is the president of the United States (Aaron Eckhart). And the only reason he’s still alive is because his body guard is the indestructible Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler is back).
What follows is an hour-plus of explosions and gunfire. Straight-shooting Agent Banning takes out about 1,000 bad guys who, frankly, should not have been standing in the middle of the street, alley and corridor while exchanging fire.
A few of the special effects are remarkable, but most are cheesy, as are the numerous quips our hero makes as he stabs, chokes and blasts his way through what’s left of London.
If the Islamophobia weren’t appalling enough, the jingoistic “We’re No. 1” premise of the American good guys is truly scary. How else does one explain the unapologetic opening scene of a U.S. drone strike on a wedding in Pakistan?
Additional explaining is required to make sense of the participation of Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster and Melissa Leo in this shameful example of adrenalized xenophobia.