If London Has Fallen, this movie kicks it when it’s down.

I went into “London Has Fallen” looking for a big, dumb action movie. I like big, dumb action movies. What I don’t like are stupid action movies, and “London Has Fallen” right into that bargain bin.

Three years after the end of “Olympus Has Fallen”, the UK Prime Minister dies suddenly and President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) travels to London for the funeral along with other world leaders. But it is an elaborate trap laid by international arms dealer Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) who holds the President responsible for a drone strike which killed his daughter. Only Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) stands between the President of the United States and public execution at the hands of the terrorists who have seized London.

Now if that sounds like the intro cut scene for a video game, that’s probably not a coincidence. The film is very definitely not a ‘video game brought to life’ but it does feel like it was written by a nihilistic thirteen-year-old hopped up on energy drinks and “Call of Duty”. The abysmal script is crammed with nonsensical, testosterone-driven bombast that would be looking at a hefty rewrite to even reach the lofty heights of cliché.

When director Babak Najafi isn’t busy intercutting appallingly mismatched low resolution stock footage of London to support the film’s laughable understanding of the real geography of London, he’s applying really poor special effects to the rest of the footage to inject some sense of threat to this noisy and pointless runaround. From digital blood spatters galore to the big, Emmerich-esque set piece moments of landmark destruction, the effects work is desperately poor as are many of the crowd scenes where terrified onlookers are often outnumbered by nonchalant passers-by.

Deficient in logic, spectacle and artistry, “London Has Fallen” is at its worst when it comes to characterisation. Butler’s Mike Bannon has apparently in the intervening years become something of a psychopath. There’s a disquieting gleeful ferocity and savagery to our square-jawed hero’s killing that should give even the most hawkish among us pause for thought. Reflecting the film’s flimsy ethical stance, Butler’s bloodlust often makes it difficult to know who you should really be rooting for. This time, Eckhart’s President is in on the action from the very beginning but then he plays a Leader of the Free World so seemingly indestructible that you start to wonder why he even needs a protection detail in the first place. Morgan Freeman is also in this and should just be ashamed.

Aggressively stupid, willfully ignorant, deeply racist and driven by a corrupted, rotten sense of false moral superiority, “London Has Fallen” may feel like a straight-to-video sequel to a popular movie – like we used to get in the 1990’s – but it’s much more unpleasant than that.

london has fallen review
Score 4/10
logo

Related posts

Coco (2018) Review

Coco (2018) Review

“Coco”, a vibrant and deceptively poignant exploration of the Mexican holiday the Day Of The Dead, sees Pixar once again doing what they do best: delivering a heartfelt story of family, heritage and passion in a visually stunning wrapping.12-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is determined to...

Star Trek: Lower Decks S1E02 – Envoys Review

Star Trek: Lower Decks S1E02 - Envoys Review

It’s traditional for STAR TREK series to pause for breath in the episode immediately after the pilot but, not for the first – or last – time, LOWER DECKS isn’t interested in convention, preferring to come out with its phasers set to killing it.ENVOYS opens with the first of what will...

The future’s not set. There are no sequels but what we choose for ourselves. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Review

The future's not set. There are no sequels but what we choose for ourselves. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Review

There’s something metatextually satisfying in the tangled maelstrom of continuity the Terminator franchise has created for itself. It feels fitting that a series based on so much dicking around the time travel and rewriting the timeline should leave behind it a more than tangled skein. By...

Greenland (2020) Review

Greenland (2020) Review

Famously Iceland is, for the most part, not covered in ice and snow whereas Greenland is almost entirely smothered by glaciers, its verdant name belying its frozen nature. In that, at least, GREENLAND (2020) is aptly named because for the most part, it’s a tense refugee drama masquerading as a...

2 Comments

  1. Grog the Ginger March 4, 2016

    Now I HAVE to see it (via torrent)! Great review!

  2. Rodney Twelftree March 7, 2016

    “The abysmal script is crammed with nonsensical, testosterone-driven bombast that would be looking at a hefty rewrite to even reach the lofty heights of cliché.”

    This was the one that made me chuckle the most. Superbly done, sir.

Comments are closed.