Gerard Butler fans rejoice. You now have another chance to catch the hunky Scot in an action-packed film on Netflix. That’s right, the actor’s bomb dropping, gun shooting, London Has Fallen is now streaming on the platform, where it was last seen back in the pre-pandemic world of 2018. The second installation in the Has Fallen franchise, the feature was initially released to theaters in 2016 where it met a very mixed review from audiences and critics alike. Currently, the movie sits with a 28% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a 50% audience score. Though this may tell some people to avoid it at all costs, fans of over-the-top action plots riddled with explosions and dramatic dialogue are sure to find a keeper in the series. There must be some reason as to why the Has Fallen films have received so many installations, right?
Sure, part of that reason is sure to be because Gerard Butler had a hand in the production side of things. It’s certainly a bit easier to get your big-budget film made when you’re the one pouring in the sweet dollar bills to make it happen. And just because the second film didn’t quite land the way its creators were aiming for it to, doesn’t mean the first one missed the mark. The premiere film in a series performs better than its sequel and possibly even those following it (looking at you Pirates of the Caribbean), and in the case of the Has Fallen franchise, this definitely hits the nail on the head. The first film, Olympus Has Fallen which was released in 2013, was crushed at the box office and received copious amounts of praise from critics who appreciated Butler’s work as well as director, Antoine Fuqua’s, vision. Like London Has Fallen, critics felt the film was a bit too gratuitous with the violence and could have spent more time in the writing workshopping stages.
The flick follows Gerard Butler’s Mike Banning, a one-time Secret Service agent who has been reassigned to the Treasury Department following a tragedy that he wasn’t able to stop and honestly wasn’t really his fault. Also, is that how it works in the Secret Service? If you don’t do your job properly, they just bounce you to another department? We just aren’t sure if we want an ex-secret service agent collecting our taxes or doing the math on our nation’s debts, but we digress… Things heat up for Banning when, after a North Korean-led attack on the White House goes down, he heads back into the action seeking to not only save the President, Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) but to also redeem himself and probably get out from behind his pencil-pushing desk at the Treasury Department.
London Has Fallen picks up after the events of the first film and we see Banning answer another call to action after an assassination plan is revealed which aims to take out all of the world leaders of the G7 while they mourn the loss of the British Prime Minister while at his funeral. As if this wasn’t enough stress for Banning, he must also keep an eye on the president who is being targeted by Islamic terrorists. Shockingly enough, the film faced some backlash for xenophobic writing which doesn’t come as a surprise. Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart returned to reprise their roles from the first film and were joined by an all-star cast which included Morgan Freeman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Sean O’Bryan, Waleed Zuaiter, and Charlotte Riley. Picking up where Fuqua left off, the second flick would be directed by Babak Najafi.
Outside of his time in the action-packed Have Fallen series, Gerard Butler can be seen in films ranging from musicals like 2004’s adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera to animated pictures like the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. However, it was the actor’s role as the absolutely ripped King Leonidas in Zack Snyder’s 2006 beautifully shot war epic, 300, that garnered him the most attention and allowed his career to fully blossom. Shortly after 300, the actor would roll the cameras on another of his fan’s favorites, the heart-wrenching love story, P.S. I Love You.
While many franchises pull you in by forcing you to catch up on all previous stories surrounding its world, the Has Fallen films give off a different vibe. Fans of Gerard Butler and heavy gunslinging action pieces (or questionable writing) won’t need to get the back story from Olympus Has Fallen to enjoy London Has Fallen. Simply head to Netflix, sit back, and get ready to go on the adventure of a lifetime. Who knows, maybe you’ll be such a fan that you’ll want to follow it up by streaming Angel Has Fallen on Hulu.