SPOILER FREE ZONE
Do not watch.
Seriously, I warned you. This movie is so bad I felt the need to create an account on this site to tell people the truth about it.
If you're a citizen of the USA who is overly nationalistic, if you buy into the hype of famous actors who end up having less-than-average performances, if you just started watching movies last year and aren't yet familiar with all the cliches you will find in this movie, if you think a blurry, confused action scene is a good action scene, and if you don't mind the poorly done CGI explosions and the plot-holes, then this movie is for you.
If not, and if you're really curious about it, just watch the trailer. The entire movie is there anyway.
Here is how it goes: Main character is a typical American-marine-special-agent kind of dude. He is a reckless, aggressive, dominant alpha male that can't go one minute without saying a cheesy one-liner. In fact, almost all his dialogue are cheesy one-liners. He has a pregnant wife, which is the typical stay-at-home American mom who cares for his husband.
Then there's the typical strong, maternal black women who dies courageously, the typical hot white girl female fatal which you "do not f*** with", the strangely naive USA president who is afraid to pick up a gun and shocked that so many civilians have died because of him (yeah, right), the typical eastern villain that hates America, the faceless enemies with storm-trooper syndrome, the traitor that thinks the system is flawed and accepted a bribe, and Morgan Freeman, who is presented as a major character but ends up playing a very minor role that could be done by any novice actor. Yes, from now on, beware of films with Morgan Freeman. It's not the first time (I'm remembering Oblivion, with Tom Cruise) that his face is plastered all around just to make the movie sell, but ends up being an insignificant part of it. He may have played great roles in the past, but now it's clear he is riding his own fame.
Even then, Morgan Freeman is probably the best actor there. Others are just not competent. Part of the blame is on the dialogue. It's too cliche and far-fetched. As told before, Gerard Butler does nothing but throw down one-liners. He has one or two facial expressions: The angry look and the tender, loving father look. Which makes him an one-dimensional character that you won't be able to build an emotional connection with. He is also an insufferable Mary Sue. The USA president, on the other hand, is pathetic. They try to make him a determined, strong American leader, but the contrast with his best man is just too big. It makes him look tiny, fragile and incompetent. There is not much to say about other actors. All of them play minor roles and are easily forgettable. And all of them play stereotypical, far-fetched roles.
Then there is the plot. Oh, god, the plot.
It's bad. The pacing is horrible. Action scene, chase, small break, action scene, chase, small break, repeat. Not much happens in between. In part because there is no decent plot. It goes like this: the most heavily guarded funeral in history ends up having some serious security flaws. And all because one dude in the USA security agency betrayed them. That one dude is apparently so powerful, or the security agencies (American and English) are so pathetic, that his simple betrayal goes undetected and cause the entire defense operation to fail. How did he do such a feat? How could half the guards in that day be enemies in disguise and that go under the radar? How could the prime-minister of England "die in his sleep" and then no autopsy having been made in time to clear any suspicions of poisoning? Why is Gerard Butler the only one who "feels" that "something" is about to happen? Why is it that the most important target (USA President) is the ONLY ONE that stays alive, and the LAST ONE that the enemy tries to shoot at? Every single point of this movie is far-fetched.
Okay, I'm aware that this is a mindless action movie, and plot and actor performance shouldn't be taken too seriously. BUT THE ACTION SCENES AREN'T GOOD EITHER! All of them are ridden with that annoying, off-putting blur and camera-shake effect. And they aren't original either. Oh, a last-second save. Oh, a car chase. Oh, the helicopter crashes and they are all alive and without a scratch. Except the black girl, of course. Oh, the enemies just send themselves at the hero at the most stupid fashion and end up dead, every single time. It's tedious, predictable and shows that they are lazy and didn't really spend any time to think on good ideas.
So if the point of the movie is bad, and everything else is bad to, what's good? Well, I find the stereotypical representations of the other heads-of-state to be somewhat enjoyable. There's the female German Chancellor that is clearly Angela Merkel, the womanizer Italian prime-minister that is clearly Berlusconi, etc. But all it shows is that this movie could have been a parody. It is certainly a parody, with all the exaggerated nationalistic lines and the plot and action scene cliches, but it's a parody of itself. Its crucial sin is that it takes itself seriously. But it certainly doesn't deserve more than to be a punchline of a joke. A bad, boring, predictable joke.