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Watching London Has Fallen in Spanish


London Has Fallen is a terrible movie.

You know this, I know this, we all know this. But really, it’s worth noting that this film is actively corrosive on every level, vile right to its core. It’s the movie equivalent of a hydrochloric acid spillage on an industrial landfill leaking into a pristine river full of rare sealife and subsequently the water supply for the city of Vancouver. If you could smell this movie, it would smell of gun smoke created by Ted Cruz cooking his bacon on a barrel of a machine gun like he did that one time.

London Has Fallen is a terrible movie, but I’m not here to review it. More talented people than me have already done that. I’m also not here to critique its politics, as I have been reliably informed by classmates that I am a dirty communist. No, kids, I am here purely because I had the rare privilege three months ago of watching this movie in the best medium possible: Spanish, with no subtitles.

Don’t worry, this has a deeper meaning to it.

London Has Fallen takes on a different meaning when the dialogue is impossible to understand. You’re robbed of Morgan Freeman’s famously great voice, replaced by identikit Spanish dubbing actor #124, who cannot hope to live up to the legacy of Morgan Freeman, even if this is a Morgan Freeman who is living on overinflated paychecks and tea breaks in between scenes for sustenance as he grinds his way through a script written by a sentient Confederate flag. Gerald Butler’s near-constant stream of mild racism disappears, and it’s surprisingly hard to tell when the mild racism begins to resemble the average slave-owner’s political views in 1531.

With no dialogue as your centre-point, you have to rely on the visuals to guide your way, such as the increasingly bizarre ways that world leaders are killed off. “They’re not going to blow up Westminster Abbey, are they?”, I said to the person next to be, two seconds before Westminster Abbey exploded into cheap CGI gloop. Even better, the Muslim villains’ motivations become impossible to understand, so you can project much more entertaining motivations onto them. Maybe they’re angry at Gerald Butler for supporting the new Ghostbusters reboot. Maybe it’s about ethics in video games journalism? Without the English dialogue to confirm that, indeed, this is yet another Hollywood movie about the terrorist bogeyman attacked by a meat-headed America that is somehow absolved of all guilt, the bad guys can be whatever you want them to be! London Has Fallen becomes a Choose Your Own adventure in Spanish, and it’s absolutely smashing.

Some moments don’t need dialogue to convey their true meaning. It’s pretty easy to tell, for instance, when Gerald Butler and the slice of low-quality white bread that is meant to pass for a President are making gay jokes at each other like 12 year olds who have entirely misunderstood The Inbetweeners. The big, triumphant moments, of course, transcend lingual boundaries. When the music shifted into patriotic mode, I knew that our United States was about to blow up an entire town of insurgents with a drone strike. When that moment came, I practically punched the air, only vaguely aware of the fact that this was the kind of military propaganda that sexually excites Donald Trump. In Spanish, the triumphs of London Has Fallen go beyond piss-awful dialogue written entirely on an Etch-a-Sketch, touching the very core of the brain’s pleasure centres for a feeling of pure, unadulterated euphoria.

And when Gerald Butler’s character arc that had literally no basis in anything beyond the first fifteen minutes of the movie came to an end, and he deleted his resignation letter in a decision to stay with White Bread President and fight another day, I felt alive in a way that I have literally never felt before in my hollow and futile existence.

London Has Fallen in Spanish is a truly otherworldly experience, and I would recommend it above learning to drive, having sex, or trying alcohol. I live for the moment that it will come out on Blu-ray so I can consume it on a literally constant basis, breathing it in as frequently as I breathe in vape smoke.

God bless you, London Has Fallen, or Objetivo: Londres, as it is called in its ultimate form.

There was no added meaning to this. There was nothing else I could think of to write.