*/**** Image A Sound A+ Extras D
starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Morgan Freeman
screenplay by Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt and Christian Gudegast and Chad St. John
directed by Babak Najafi
by Walter Chaw It's a corker. Playing exactly like another instalment in the "Call of Duty" FPS videogame franchise, Iranian-born Babak Najafi's London Has Fallen is a gobsmacking, jingoistic, political exploitation horror-thriller that traffics in contemporary paranoia with unusually exuberant brutality. It loves killing people. Loves it. The picture's packed full of xenophobia and all the other insidious forms of fear infecting our modern apocalypse: hatred of the Other, terror of invasion, terror of the self. It fashions what is essentially another 28 Days Later sequel by recasting the rage zombies as Islamic Fundamentalists, simultaneously creating in the process a recruitment video for bellicose young men in the West wanting to kill Arabs--and one for bellicose young men in the Middle-East wanting to kill Americans. Tidy. London Has Fallen is propaganda with a budget, a few recognizable faces, and some directing chops to boot. I'm equally glad and appalled it exists. I wish I were more surprised that it does.