London Has Fallen begins with the exact same plot as its predecessor Olympus Has Fallen, a terrorist cell plans to capture and execute the American president played by the chiselled Aaron Eckhart.
The protagonist is our man Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). Cut from the same cloth as Jason Statham, the Brit-turned-Hollywood action star couples a bullet-repellent body with a shabby American accent to protect the US president at all costs, jeopardising his life while expecting a child and considering retirement, again.
The beginning of the film starts with anticipation, especially if you watched the trailer (which is great). Waiting for that crucial point where the terrorists attack is gripping, and when it comes it is quite a spectacle. Watching London being torn to pieces is surreal, especially if you’re living in the capital itself or you’re a regular visitor. The scene captures the panic that would ensue if an attack happened, making it the stand-out moment in the film. However, don’t expect much in the way of convincing CGI, which is disappointing for a film in 2016.
Banning and the President find themselves alone in London, running (literally) around like headless chickens, trying to find their way home. Hilarious quips are constant in the script, and certainly intentional – great for those that like extra cheese on their Action films.
There’s an enjoyable Helicopter crash, a token London underground scene and a great one liner by Banning involving a glass of water after killing approximately 20 people. Aside from that, London Has Fallen is predictable, cringe-worthy and unpolished.
It is a film that feels automatically condemned to the prime-time slot on the fifth channel of terrestrial UK television.
The acting and script is as wooden as a Japanese dojo, and the attempts to combine razor sharp one-liners with flurry’s of jaw-dropping action – like the classic films of the 80s and 90s which it tries to emulate – undeniably fails.
Interestingly, this sequel is directed by Babak Najafi and not Antoine Fuqua who refused to work on the film due to the script, which speaks volumes when quelling the taste it leaves in your mouth after leaving the cinema screening.
London Has Fallen tries too hard but does offer something in the way of cheap thrills for the seekers amongst us. The likelihood is that you would never watch this film again.