FILM REVIEW: London Has Fallen (15)

London Has Fallen
London Has Fallen

Terrorism-phobia is pushed to the max in our country’s very capital – via Gerard Butler’s high-octane sequel.

It delivers cringeworthy stereotypes and some cliché-ridden one-liners with immense regularity, but it generally provides an ass-kicking action-thriller that is almost as enjoyable as it is unbelievable.

Butler is back for this follow-up to the relatively successful 2013 hit Olympus has Fallen, as his secret service agent Mike Banning uncovers a plot to assassinate major world leaders attending the funeral of the British Prime Minister, after his questionable death. So when some of the world’s deadliest terror ‘cells’ – masterminded by weapon-trafficker Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) and his son Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter) – attack the capital’s finest landmarks, it literally turns into an A-Z of how to attack London.

To make things worse, as Banning tries to escape with Aaron Eckhart’s US President Benjamin Asher (and Angela Bassett’s Secret Service director), their chopper gets downed, and they must find a way to stay alive in a city laden with terrorists – with all lines of communications being wiped out. To make matters worse Banning’s wife Leah (Radha Mitchell) is about to give birth to their first child – giving him the ultimate incentive to stay alive – as Morgan Freeman’s vice president and company try to provide possible support from The White House. But their real ally turns out to be Charlotte Riley’s (and Tom Hardy’s wife) MI6 agent Jacquelin Marshall – who definitely has a few aces up her sleeve.

With a gratuitously-violent body count bigger than a game of Call of Duty, the believability factor is definitely maxed-out well before the end, but with a couple of cracking jokes and some noteworthy set-pieces (even though the computer-generated ‘blowing up’ of London special effects do look a tad ropey), this actually does what it says on the tin – and the tin says ‘dumb fun’. Just don’t expect it to be in Oscar contention come next year.

3/5 stars

Review by Gavin Miller.