Friday, March 4, 2016

London Has Fallen

Even though it's only been three years, I can't say I remember a lot about Olympus Has Fallen.  But I recall it being a passably entertaining guilty pleasure in the vein of a Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Steven Seagal, or Wesley Snipes action film (e.g. Die Hard, Air Force One, Under Siege, and Passenger 57, respectively.)  And having recalled that, I was pretty indifferent towards seeing this sequel.  I figured it would be 99 minutes of passable entertainment that I could see or skip.  Though since it was screening close to me, I decided to give it a go.  First and foremost, I was surprised at how much darker, grittier, and more serious it seems than I remembered of its predecessor, closer to Homeland than any of the aforementioned guilty pleasures.  Perhaps I'm just misremembering, but it seems like they've tried to take this one into more mature territory.  But in doing so, they stripped away a lot of the fun.  For me, it was significantly harder to get into the film, and in many ways less enjoyable, but at the same time more respectable.  As such, I've got mixed feelings about it and give it the exact same grade as the original, but for very different reasons.

Grade: B-

Who is this movie for?  It's a strange cross between a misstep and an improvement to the original, which may simultaneously please and disappoint its fan base.  But frankly, I think there are many better options in theaters now.

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