Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
After the death of the British Prime Minister, the world’s leaders descend unto London for the funeral. Despite this being the most protected event on earth, it soon becomes a blood bath as a terrorist attack with a plan to assassinate all world leaders descends the city into chaos. Outnumbered and on their own, the US President (Eckhart) and his head of security (Butler) must survive while those at the White House must to try to uncover the source of the attack and stop it.
There seems to be a lot of controversy caused by London Has Fallen and whether its plot is in bad taste and timing, well that truly is unnecessary as not only is it a film that is way too stupid to ever be taken seriously enough to contemplate whether it is in poor taste, but also to even enter such a debate could give the film some very much undeserved credit. Just like its predecessor Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen is the usual dull, predictable mindless nonsense that is to be expected to be seen in most mainstream action films, and it is also complete rubbish, with its only real redeeming feature being the unintentional comedy.
Despite the storyline encapsulating some topical themes at the centre of its plot, these can never be taken seriously or be found offensive due to the fact that the film is just 99 minutes of utter mindless carnage, cringe-worthy dialogue, even worse performances and particularly shoddy special effects. As with The Interview, the only thing offensive about London Has Fallen is its deeply deluded stoicism and how it thinks it can get away with this. Yes the script certainly does on the surface have some very questionable and narrow minded ideologies and a deluded, ignorant and downright xenophobic sense of patriotism and morality, but to even go into that would once again almost feel like giving this film far more credit than it deserves. Ultimately the entire plot is completely reliant on at least half of the workforce of London’s emergency services being nasty little terrorists, and this is jarringly lazy plotting even by Hollywood’s low standards.
To even begin tearing apart the plot of London Has Fallen is a complete waste of energy as it is so stupid it embarrasses itself when watching the film. Of course a decent, enjoyable action romp does not require a particularly complex plot, but even with one’s brain switched completely off this film does not even cut it as mindless entertainment. Admittedly it does not outstay its welcome in terms of the running time and after throwing in a few brief clichés such as the fact Gerard Butler’s Mike Banning has a heavily pregnant wife and is a about to hand in his resignation, we are then sent straight to London and the embarrassingly bad CGI explosions commence straight away.
From then on it is constant shouting, swearing, bangs and bad dialogue. It is the bad dialogue such as “why don’t you go back to fuck-head-a-stan or wherever it you come from” that often produce laughs, but all laughs that this film produces (and there are a fair few) are laughs very much AT than ever, ever WITH. The constant cacophony of shouting, swearing, thudding and banging ends up becoming one continuous noise.
Another crucial element as to why London Has Fallen is so dull is the fact the characters are completely one dimensional, despite this being their second film. The performances too are terrible; Gerard Butler’s range as an actor goes from shouting loudly to shouting really loudly and though of course he looks the part, he has no screen presence or charisma whatsoever. His accent is slightly less wobbly than last time, until his character works with a Scottish marine in the film’s dull and predictable final set piece, and then he finds it hard for the accent not to return to the Lochs. Meanwhile Eckhart and Freeman look like they are contractually obliged to be there and just want to pick up the cheque.
Taking over the reins from Antoine Fuqua, director Babak Najafi fails to deliver any exciting or well executed set pieces. He even attempts to do one sequence in one take, but he is no Alfonso Cuarón or Alejandro González Iñárritu, and the whole sequence just feels forced and like he is trying too hard. There was no real demand for a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen, and predictably it is even worse than it’s particularly rubbish predecessor.
Even the phrase ‘dumb action film’ does feel like it does no justice to just how particularly stupid London Has Fallen is, it is in fact so stupid that is pointless to even analyse its ideologies. With the unintentional comedy it’s only saving grace, it is a boring barrage of violence, shouting and shoddy CGI.