When the British Prime Minister dies suddenly, the leaders of the Western World gather in London for his state funeral.
Just as proceedings are getting under way, all hell breaks loose as the capital comes under attack from a massive terrorist force who proceed to off the German Prime Minister (noble) , The French President (a snob) , The Italian Premier (a hilariously and very thinly disguised Berlusconi clone) plus various other world leaders and then blow up a number of well known London landmarks such as the houses of parliament and Tower Bridge just for good measure. Naturally the Americans arent having any of it and with the help of hard-as-nails secret service agent Mike Banning (Butler) The US President (Eckhart) ends up going on the run through the deserted streets of the Big Smoke whilst being hotly pursued by half the worlds terrorists.
This, as you may have guessed, is the sequel to 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen, which, upon release was a surprise box office hit and proved to be one of the most enjoyable action films for years. However alot of the critics didn’t agree and so it is again with London Has Fallen which has been somewhat savaged in most of the reviews i have recently read. I have to say that this is somewhat of a mystery to me as i (and my fellow Newport film club geeks) absolutely loved it. Now i will agree that it isn’t in any way what one would refer to as high art, nor does it have the greatest script ever written, plus it completely wastes the combined acting talent of Melissa Leo, Robert Forster and the great Jackie Earl Haley, who barely register and have nothing to do except look shocked and appalled.
However, if you can get over these small(ish) issues and the fact that the whole thing is totally preposterous and utterly daft to boot – you might just end up having one of the best nights out at the cinema this year. For London Has Fallen is, simply put, a smashing slice of top notch escapism, chock full of everything you could possibly want from an action film. Indeed once the mayhem really kicks off there is an almost non stop cacophony of bullet riddled gunfights, breathless car chases and huge explosions , all helped along by Butler’s effortless charisma, barbed one liners and very funny bromance with Eckhart’s POTUS. Its also well directed by Babak Najafi, who stages some great action sequences – in particular a very impressive and relentlessly exciting one take set piece, where Butler teams up with the SAS (hooray!) and proceeds to lay waste to the terrorist stronghold using guns, knives, grenades and all manner of arse kicking fisticuffs.
In conclusion, i honestly cant recommend this film highly enough, its fast, its furious, its thrilling and funny in all the right places, the action is blood soaked and brutal, and Butler once again proves to be a fantastic action hero. Please please just ignore the highbrow critics who have unfairly dismissed it and get yourself the cinema asap – i guarantee you wont be sorry.
Big, dumb, fun and properly mad as cheese -simply put London Has Fallen is why i love films!
Author: Will Strong