Film & TV

Film Review: London Has Fallen

When the British Prime Minister dies, the US President & his minder are caught in a major terrorist attack on London while attending the funeral.

We can blame Bruce Willis for London Has Fallen. Since his star turn in the Die Hard series, dozens of movies have attempted to copy its formula.  The brash American bodyguard/cop ready with a gun and a quip battling an array of foreign villains has been oft used.

London Has Fallen uses this motif in the laziest way possible. A sequel to Olympus Has Fallen, it’s a film on auto-pilot from its first predictable frame. Those wanting mindless viewing will enjoy it, even if its soul-crushing Hollywood production-line feel becomes tiresome.

When the British Prime Minister dies, US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) attends the funeral. Travelling to London with trusted body-guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), the President hopes all goes smoothly. Unfortunately terrorists strike during the service with explosions and guns almost decimating the city. The President and Mike are isolated and on the run from unseen enemies bent on revenge. Using their wits to survive, they take on any forces standing in their way of freedom.

London Has Fallen’s appeal lies in its slim run-time. This is just as well as it hasn’t got much else going for it. Although filled with requisite explosions and noise, it adds nothing new to a weary genre. Performed by actors with their eyes on the pay-check, it’s difficult becoming involved in their character’s dilemmas. Butler and Eckhart go through the motions with little enthusiasm, with the direction devoid of innovation or imagination.

Occasionally there are tense moments as the leads walk through London’s deserted streets. Unfortunately these scenes are replaced by more ranting by the film’s rent-a-villains and more loud noise. The expected car chases are fine, even if they drag on. The shoddily shot CGI and bombastic orchestral score add to the overall shrillness, with the screenplay quickly running out of ways to put its characters in even more ludicrous situations.

London Has Fallen isn’t even a poor-man’s Die Hard. It’s a tawdry plod through the action-movie back catalogue revelling in the genre’s clichés. It’s a miniscule effort unworthy of viewer’s eyes which hopefully will be spared a dreaded sequel.

Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Twitter: @PatrickMoore14

Rating out of 10:  1

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