It’s so easy to drop the drones in, especially when the
tempting target is a cell of known terrorists.
We have the technology. And
it’s so much easier than boots on the ground.
The trouble is, terrorist cells are still people, who often
have families, and while living with them might provide some degree
of anonymity, it also puts them at risk.
Everybody understands this.
But “collateral damage” is far too light a term to begin
to describe the emotional devastation wrought by it.
“London Has Fallen” begins with a wedding in Pakistan.
The father of the bride, Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul, who
was actually born in Israel), is an unabashed arms dealer, with a
strong network of henchmen, including family members, who, of
course, are also at the wedding.
The drone strike was designed for him, but he survived,
though his daughter did not. Barkawi
plots his revenge for a full two years, awaiting the right
When the Prime Minister of Great Britain dies of a mysterious
illness, the leaders of many countries quickly make plans to attend
the state funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The Secret Service head, Lynne Jacobs (Angela Bassett), hates
this kind of scenario, because there are so many uncontrollable
elements. But President
Asher (Aaron Eckhart) is determined to go, and insists that his
favorite agent, Mike Bannon (Gerard Butler) is assigned to his
security detail, as well.
It’s an unmitigated disaster.
Barkawi’s carefully-planned attack not only manages to
assassinate several Heads of State, but also several notable
landmarks of London, creating complete chaos.
The normal security apparatus is compromised because of an
“inside mole” in MI6. President
Asher manages to escape the initial attempt because of a schedule
change and Mike Bannon’s personal assistance, but eventually the
two men get separated from the rest of the security detail, and
it’s up to them to survive in the eerily-abandoned streets of
Of course it’s violent.
But who wouldn’t want a near-invincible Secret Service
agent protecting our President in a foreign country when suddenly
everything erupts into chaos and destruction?
Yes, the human element is added because the mastermind
terrorist cannot help but personally taunt the powers that be.
And it’s much easier to focus our wrath on a known
criminal. But as
“London Has Fallen” painfully demonstrates, “collateral
damage” cuts both ways.