REVIEW: “London Has Fallen”

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Whew, if you thought it was bad when Olympus fell you should see what terrorists do to the city of London in Gerard Butler’s action sequel “London Has Fallen”. And don’t let the laughably bad title fool you, the corniness isn’t just restricted to the name of the movie. It’s in everything from the performances, the dialogue, and the premise itself.

For the sake of full disclosure I admit that I enjoyed Antoine Fuqua’s 2013 action romp “Olympus Has Fallen”. It was a violent, cheesy, and unashamed throwback to the good old action flicks of the 1980s and early 90s. So now we get “London Has Fallen” which has some of the same entertaining silliness of its predecessor. But while not as wretched as some overly sensitive critics say, it is a much lesser movie.

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Gerard Butler returns as Secret Service Superman Mike Banning. He still serves as the chief protector of President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) but is contemplating retirement since he and his wife Leah (Radha Mitchell) are expecting their first baby. But he can’t retire quite yet. Following the death of England’s Prime Minister, President Asher and other world leaders head to London to attend the funeral.

Obviously things don’t go well in London. A terrorist group launches a calculated attack on the world leaders including Asher. It becomes Banning’s top priority to keep the President alive no matter the amounts of bullets, blood, and bone-breaking necessary. It’s really as simple as that. The bulk of the film is Banning leading Asher through numerous gunfights and close encounters.

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The movie does try to throw in a few side ventures I suppose in an attempt to add more depth. There is an early hint that the film may explore the moral implications of drone strikes. That’s tossed aside pretty quick. There is also a side story about a mole inside English intelligence. It plays out about as flat and uneventful as possible. Basically anything they try to do to expand the story fails.

Few things other than the action works in “London Has Fallen”. The sense of humor isn’t that funny. The film is littered with dopey and abrasive dialogue. Several returning characters from the first film are given nothing to do. To be honest the wackiness of the premise and the intense action almost saves it. There are a couple of shootouts that are an absolute blast. It’s too bad there isn’t enough surrounding the action to make this worthwhile.

VERDICT – 2 STARS

2 Stars

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37 thoughts on “REVIEW: “London Has Fallen”

    • Hollow and boring indeed. I was hoping for the same kind of goofiness that we got in the first film. This one is definitely goofy but not in the right way. Completely dismissible and disposable.

  1. Yeah, a pale, mean-spirited sequel to the original. Now, re-think it with Mike Banning as the supreme villain of the film and it plays as an entertaining horror flick. πŸ˜‰

    • LOL. I don’t so much see it as mean-spirited as just downright dumb and at times incompetent in its attempts to be funny or tough. Don’t think I’ll be seeing this one again.

  2. There was no way I was going to put myself through this after absolutely hating Olympus. Looking back now, I gave OHF too hard of a ride because I agree with everything you say about it: it is goofy, knowingly so and it is kind of a kick back to the old school, macho action films. The cheese I think was what threw me out and I had a hard, hard time getting back in again so when this came up and the title was . . well, this, I basically laughed my socks off. So I’m glad that this review has confirmed I wisely saved $12 πŸ™‚

    • What??? But this is Gerard Butler! The same guy who brought us Gods of Egypt! Okay, so that actually makes your point.

      To be honest I had a lot of fun with Olympus. It’s cheese and corn was a treat to digest (for me). The cheese in London will give you heartburn. Not funny at all. At times downright stupid. Trust me dude, you aren’t missing anything.

      • Oooh, good point! Gods of Egypt was a must-see for me, actually! πŸ˜‰ No, just joshing. No way. But I did forget he was in that. I still like the guy but jeez he needs to stop doing dumb movies and get into good or at least better ones

  3. I actually found this about on par with OHF. I was a little meh on that one, and I was meh on this one. Some of the humor worked a little for me, but man oh man, this is cornier than a maize field in Iowa. The forced bromance had me rolling here and there, eye rolling other places.

    Average and forgettable all in all.

    • I actually liked the first one quite a bit. I saw it as a cheesy tip-of-the-hat to the old school action flicks. This one lacked a lot of that for me. Kept waiting for it to become fun but it never really did.

  4. Although I completely agree with everything you say about this movie (and I even pointed it out in my own review) I still enjoyed the hell out of the film πŸ™‚

  5. “…the corniness isn’t just restricted to the name of the movie.” – LOL! Love it.

    Can’t say I can see myself ever watching this. I got roped into the first and didn’t like it, and I thought a sequel to be a terrible idea. I will just be skipping this, save my time. I can just see that this isn’t my cup of tea.

    • Re-lace your shoes. Clean the oven. Take a stroll. Pretty much anything you want to do will serve your time better than watching this especially if you didn’t like the first one. This one is MUCH worse.

  6. You are way too generous Keith!! πŸ˜› My love for GB has been on steady decline over the years but this movie practically blown it to pieces!! Sooooo awful, this will be on my WORST list of the year for sure.

    I’d rather re-watch The Dark Valley on rotation than to even see a clip of this again, and I’m not even generally a fan of Westerns!!

      • Ahah not anymore. I still can’t believe how awful his performance is the more ‘Hollywoodized’ he becomes. My new guy Sam Riley is so massively underrated but he’s a bazillion times more talented/skilled actor.

  7. I gotta tell you something funny. London Has Fallen was just recommended to me by Netflix. Having seen the movie, I have to say Aaron Eckhardt’s character is like the worst President in the world. He seems to be constantly getting himself into life-or-death situations on a regular basis. Gerard Butler needs to give up trying that “American” accent, it’s not working for him. I rather enjoyed the first film, but London was an exercise in frustration. Aside from serious logic gaps, the whole thing was poorly made. Obvious low-budget movie is obvious. At least the villain in the first movie was somewhat interesting. The bad guys in London are…generic. London Has Fallen is complete waste of time. I like Gerard Butler, I really do, but his project choices are highly questionable at best.

    • I’m with you. Had a lot of fun with the first movie. It knew exactly what it was and it kept itself under control. This thing fall flat in nearly every area.

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