London Has Fallen

"Weak"

London Has Fallen Review


It didn't seem possible, but somehow this action movie is even more preposterous than its predecessor, 2013's over-serious Olympus Has Fallen. Gerard Butler is back as a Secret Service agent protecting US President Aaron Eckhart, this time in a Taken-style scenario in which they leave America only to be immediately thrown into the middle of a massive terrorist attack. But the script is so lazy that there isn't a moment when any of this is remotely believable.

Events are put into motion when the British prime minister dies of a heart attack and security services only have a few days to lock down London so that the world's leaders can arrive for the funeral at St Paul's Cathedral. Mike (Butler) flies in with his boss Lynn (Bassett) on Air Force One, accompanying President Asher (Eckhart) and a platoon of bodyguards. Then just before the funeral, a carefully orchestrated series of bombings and gun attacks take out five heads of state. Of course, Mike and Lynn get Asher out of the fray, but an army of bad guys led by terror mastermind Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter) pursue them across the city. Back in Washington, Vice President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and the panicky cabinet (including Haley, Forster and Leo) watch all of this unfold on video screens and coordinates a counter-attack.

Even with four screenwriters, the movie makes no real sense. And worse than that, the filmmakers never take advantage of the story's potential or the heavy-hitting cast. There's a line about how all of London's landmarks have been destroyed, but the on-screen destruction is limited to just one of Westminster Abbey's towers. The depiction of world leaders is laughably cliched. And the award-winning actors have nothing to do but stand there looking worried. By contrast, Butler charges around shooting and stabbing everybody who moves in a display of shockingly brutal machismo. Eckhart is more believably reluctant to join in and dispense some violence, but of course he does.

Both films in this series come from that appalling perspective (as in Taken) in which anyone who looks even vaguely shifty deserves to die in the most painful way possible. In this world, America is strong and right and everyone else is weak and useless. This is an especially odd approach for Iranian-born filmmaker Babak Najafi to take, although he does at least add a sense of global perspective. But it's all so straight-faced that it's more insulting than entertaining. That said, audiences who don't care about things like originality, credibility or meaning will probably enjoy the movie's fast pace and wanton death and destruction.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for London Has Fallen:



London Has Fallen

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th March 2016

Distributed by: Focus Features

Production compaines: Millennium Films, LHF Film, Gerard Butler Alan Siegel Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Babak Najafi

Producer: , Mark Gill, , Alan Siegel,

Starring: as Mike Banning, as President Benjamin Asher, as Vice President Alan Trumbull, as Lynne Jacobs, as Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan, as General Edward Clegg, as Deputy Chief Mason, as Leah Banning, as NSA Deputy Director Ray Monroe, Mehdi Dehbi as Sultan Mansoor, as Amal, as Barkawi, Jorge Leon Martinez as Secret Service

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