When the Prime Minister of England passes away, all the world leaders of Britain's allied countries come to London for the funeral. Upon entry to the country, they are ambushed by a terrorist arms dealer and his army seeking revenge on the President of The United States. It's up to Mike Banning to protect the President and escort him out of the country safely.
London Has Fallen is the follow up the surprisingly successful Olympus Has Fallen from 2012. Gerard Butler (300) stars as Mike Banning, a secret service agent responsible for saving the President back in 2012 when the White House was attacked by terrorists.
Antoine Fuqua has not returned to direct the sequel and instead director Babak Najafi has taken over. I wasn't a huge fan of the original film and went into London Has Fallen with very low expectations, and I came out of the film having been surprisingly entertained. The film starts off quite slow and the story never manages to hook me but it's the chemistry between Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as President Asher that kept me invested. Once the story is set in motion and our characters are being pursued by bad guys, the pace picked up and the proceedings became quite enjoyable.
The film really picks up when Banning and President Asher are sneaking their way through the streets of London and are being hunted. Banning dispatches of his enemies in some very inventive and brutal ways that earn this film it's mature rating, whenever Banning must confront an enemy in close quarters combat, the film shines, but whenever we're made to look at the 'spectacle' of London being destructed, the CGI is so obvious and cheap that I was dragged right out of the film, this includes a high stakes helicopter chase towards the beginning of the story.
Olympus Has Fallen restricted our characters to the White House alone and whilst Fuqua did a good job of creating a world within that confined space, the sequel takes advantage of it's more open playground and takes us all around London with our lead characters.
I won't sugarcoat it, London Has Fallen is very patriotic and it's attitude towards politics isn't very attractive so if you're going in expecting a political thriller, you'll likely be disappointed. But if you go to this hoping for a high stakes action film with cheesy one liners, brutal action and some laughs along the way, you'll have a good time. The film serves as a fun callback to action films of the 80's and 90's and whilst it's nothing great or original, the third act really picks up and delivers some entertaining action that left me feeling satisfied and surprised. I'm giving London Has Fallen a 6/10.
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