* * C
Gerard “Leonidas” Butler is back, this time playing bad ass secret service agent Mike Banning to Aaron “Two Face” Eckhart’s President Asher. A Pakistani arms dealer (who is not an Islamic terrorist), takes revenge for a drone strike that killed his daughter by launching a massive coordinated attack on the world leaders attending the funeral of the British prime minister. This flimsy premise is used to set up “Escape from London”.
The writing is terrible. At times, the dialog was so bad I laughed out loud. The plot is boilerplate and unbelievable. At one point, the terrorists are holed up in a building and the SAS don’t have enough men to take the building, so Banning goes in alone, a veritable one man army. The action sequences are mindlessly fun, which makes up for most of the films other failings.
Supporting characters are mostly dull and predictable. Notable exceptions are Morgan Freeman as the vice president (typecasting, anyone), Colin Salmon (Walter in Arrow), and newcomer Bryan Larkin. None of the female characters are memorable. Then again, none of the male characters are either; they simply dominate the action. The baddies are stereotypical terrorists. Since they are “arms dealers”, its absolutely unclear how they would be able to operate on the massive scale they do. This and the lame dialog make what could have been a good thriller into an entertaining but unintentionally funny action flick.