Mark Tapson is the editor of TruthRevolt.org and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
The great majority of movie reviewers lean far left politically, so when they sneeringly dismiss a new Hollywood action thriller as “terror exploitation,” “racist, “jingoistic,” “terror porn,” “outrageously propagandistic,” “anti-Muslim xenophobia” and “the perfect movie for Donald Trump’s America,” then you can take that as a strong recommendation for getting to the cinema.
The Gerard Butler action vehicle London Has Fallen opened recently and reviewers are panning it as brutal, cheesy, implausible, and clichéd. Apparently those reviewers are unfamiliar with the genre or feel it is beneath them, because it is generally the nature of action thrillers to be brutal, cheesy, implausible, and clichéd. Moviegoers aren’t drawn to action thrillers for their slice-of-life realism or cinematic aesthetics; they want a two-hour dose of escapist adrenalin, an action-packed, over-the-top fun ride, and on that score London Has Fallen satisfies. The audience I saw it with on opening day applauded at the end.
In this followup to last year’s terrorism thriller Olympus Has Fallen, Butler plays Secret Service agent Mike Banning, who almost single-handedly disrupts a plot, conceived by a Pakistani terror mastermind, to execute the American President on live television. In the process Banning lays waste in various ways to practically an entire battalion of terrorists. The movie is an uncomplicated guilty pleasure with the added bonus of providing the audience with a jihadist-killing catharsis – in other words, just the sort of flick to inspire patriots and raise the hackles of Progressive reviewers everywhere.
The clickbait site Uproxx, for example, declared the movie “unbelievably racist,” although the reviewer’s sole evidence for that is a scene in which agent Banning tells a terrorist to go “back to F**k-headistan or wherever it is you’re from.” That’s not racism; it’s not even so-called Islamophobia. It’s just Banning’s contempt for America-hating terrorists and the shariah cesspools that produce them. But leave it to the multicultural left to cry racism and leap to the defense of evil jihadists.
“London Has Fallen draws a line,” the reviewer complains, “and that line is between ‘us’ and ‘them.’” So it should, because there is a line between us – the good guys – and Islamic terrorists – the bad guys – but the left can’t bring itself to make that distinction. Instead, leftists are repulsed by any movie that depicts a clear moral line, unless it’s America, Christianity, and/or capitalism on the other side of it.
The Uproxx reviewer went on to sneer about this being “the perfect movie for Trump’s America” because it unashamedly revels in American power and in the deaths of terrorists, the leader of whom happens to be Muslim (never mind that the left would revel in the deaths of Donald Trump and his supporters). That comment says everything about the left’s allegiance to multiculturalism, their ingrained anti-Americanism, and their smug moral superiority over the red state Americans they perceive to be provincial bigots.
The reviewer at the Hollywood industry rag Variety pulled out all the left’s predictable arsenal of dismissive insults, calling the movie “effortlessly racist” and complaining of its “familiar Islamophobia” and “reactionary fear-mongering.” Islam, as all reasonable Americans know full well, is not a race, so there’s no racism, particularly since the majority of Special Agent Banning’s victims appear to be white. And how is it Islamophobia or fear-mongering if Muslim terrorists are actually trying to kill you in the real world? Just like the left calls 1950s anti-Communist investigations “witch hunts,” it now insists on denying that Islamic terrorism is a real-world threat.
A reviewer at Flick Filosopher completely lost his mind over London Has Fallen. He summarized it as “a Nuremberg rally for 21st-century America. Pure terror porn: racist, jingoistic, thoroughly obnoxious. Donald Trump voters will love it” (again with the jab at Trump supporters). The reviewer actually refers to “swarthy brown terrorists” in the movie, even though, again, most of the terrorists Banning dispatches to Hades seem to be white. The reviewer also sniffs at the “fear-mongered audience” who will be “hungry for blood” after this flick – suggesting that “Donald Trump voters” will leave the theater eager to carry out that violent anti-Muslim backlash which the left has been predicting since 9/11/2001.
The New York Post’s Lou Lumenick called the movie “racist” and “anti-Muslim xenophobia” – without adducing a single instance of racism or xenophobia in the film. I don’t know Lumenick’s politics, but for the left, any Hollywood movie in which a Muslim is depicted as the bad guy must automatically be deemed racist and anti-Muslim, even if the movie also features a good Muslim character, because any criticism of Islam is not allowed. Remember, the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.
“It’s about us winning,” Gerard Butler said of the film. “It’s about what happens when the shit hits the fan, and who stands up to face the challenge. It’s based on heroism and the good guys kicking ass.” Yes, and American heroes kicking ass is anathema to the left. American Sniper, 13 Hours, Lone Survivor, Zero Dark Thirty, Act of Valor, Red Dawn, London Has Fallen – all recent movies about American heroes versus foreign enemies, and all derided by reviewers as racist, jingoistic, and xenophobic.
Leftist reviewers don’t respect the action thriller genre itself for a number of reasons. First, they don’t like guns, which they believe only the government should possess. Second, as I mentioned, their world view rejects moral distinctions between good guys and bad guys unless the latter are social justice targets like greedy white businessmen. Hollywood doles out Oscars to movies with social justice themes; action thrillers in which American heroes deliver bloody justice to evil foreigners don’t make that cut. And third, action thrillers always end on an upbeat note, and reviewers who have been trained to worship the cinematic nihilism of pretentious European auteurs consider happy endings to be a simpleminded, contemptibly American characteristic.
When I saw London Has Fallen, among the twenty minutes of trailers prior to the feature was one promoting an upcoming George Clooney drama called Money Monster. In it, the liberal-activist-moonlighting-as-an-actor stars as the host of an investment advice show. He’s taken hostage on-the-air by an angry, working class young investor whose life savings have been wiped out by white Wall Street fraudsters – the only bad guys Hollywood enthusiastically demonizes. Clooney and the movie will be praised by reviewers for bravely addressing social justice issues like inequality.
But if you want to see an American hero kicking ass, skip Clooney, ignore the reviewers, and see London Has Fallen.