photo courtesy of independent.uk
So I had started out, writing a Bits & Bobs, but it was going down wonky road, so I decided to watch a movie. Which brings me to this unplanned Reel of the Week. I decided to go out on a limb and watch 2016's LONDON HAS FALLEN.
To be clear, I harbored no illusions. I knew this was going to be a same ole, same ole tired, racist, Brown people as terrorists narrative we've seen over and over. Okay, maybe I had a tiny illusion, because Angela Bassett and Morgan Freeman were in it. I needed to be sure...or tortured...or proven wrong...
A funeral for the Prime Minister of London, brings together leaders from all over the world, including the president of the United States (Aaron Eckhart). This forms a perfect storm for a terrorist attack with the President of the U.S. as the main target. It's up to his Security Team, Lynn Jacobs who is the Director of the Secret Service (Angela Bassett) and his right hand man, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) to guard his life and traverse the streets of London to get to safety.
POC have to constantly walk a tightrope when it comes to Diversity in Film. It is so rare to see ourselves on screen, we are hungry for it and want to support Films that have POC in non-stereotypical roles. Angela Bassett's character was strong, intelligent and in-charge. The sad part is, they took that character and literally threw her away, for no reason. It was not something that had to be done to move the plot forward. It didn't make sense, in fact it would have added more to the plot had they not done it. They brought in a white woman who added absolutely nothing to the plot, had maybe three lines and was just confusing.
Morgan Freeman, who played the Vice President, gave his usual, understated, dignified performance. He has presidential down to an art. Gerard Butler gave an adequate white guy hero performance, predictable, but solid. Aaron Eckhart was suitably overly patriotically Presidential.
I made it through LONDON HAS FALLEN because I have to admit it was exciting and had some very tense moments. They did throw in a few white terrorists, which did keep my umbrage down to a manageable level. So, I guess I have Angela, Morgan, a few nail-biting moments and the fact that it was only an hour and a half to thank for my feeling a little less angry...and bamboozled. I'm tired of saying the Film Industry has to do better. Maybe they are incapable of it.