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In G.I. Joe: Retalation, it was a brief moment showed off in the trailer that was almost just as brief in the movie itself: a world leader gone mad pushes a button and levels London, with the distinctive London Eye and the Thames River first to go.
In the recent, first trailer for Thor: The Dark World it's presented as the inciting incident: an alien ship cuts from the Thames into the courtyard of an old London building, threatening the life of Thor's lady love Jane (Natalie Portman).
In nearly every bit of marketing for Star Trek Into Darkness it's been highlighted, a futuristic London skyline (with "The Gherkin" in there for reference) with Benedict Cumberbatch glowering in front of it:
And now, in the newly released final trailer for Fast & Furious 6, we see Dom Torretto (Vin Diesel) standing ominously in front of the London skyline as he and his team prepare to take on the film's new villain, played by Luke Evans. No distinctive London landmarks actually explode in the trailer, but where Dom Torretto goes, explosions and hugely destructive car chases can't be far behind:
So, seriously 2013 blockbusters, what do you have against London? The city has replaced New York as the go-to metropolis for destruction seemingly overnight, and for no particular reason we can discern. Sure, London has been having its own cultural moment lately, hosting the Summer Olympics last summer, bringing James Bond back to home turf in last year's Skyfall, and hosting two different versions of one of its most famous fictional residents, with BBC's Sherlock and the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes. But London was also the victim of a devastating terrorist attack more recently than New York was-- isn't it still a little too soon to gleefully blow the place up? And sure, Hollywood is the place where studios can think it's a good idea to release two different movies about a White House takeover within months of each other, but doesn't it look a little less cool when every other new blockbuster is blowing up the London Eye too?
Far be it for this New Yorker to deny London its moment in the movie apocalypse sun-- I know fully well the weird joy of seeing your block fictionally blown up by vengeful aliens/nuclear weapons/The Rock-- but I'm truly curious as to how this moment has happened. Present your theory for London's sudden ascendence into Evil Movie Villain Target status, and Londoners, let us know how you feel about suddenly having Hollywood's laser targeted right on your forehead.