London Has Fallen (2016) Review

london

Following the death of the British Prime Minister, the U.S. President, Ben Asher, and his Secret Service Agent, Mike Banning travel to London to attend the funeral. Also attending the funeral are the other World Leaders. It is then that London falls under the attack of a Pakistani ruler out for revenge. Now it’s up to Banning to once again keep the President alive.

Admittedly, upon hearing the news of this sequel, I wasn’t exactly excited, despite loving the first film. A sequel just wasn’t necessary, but I’d rather have a sequel to this than the god-awful White House Down. The story is more or less the same as the first, but this time it takes place overseas and all over London as opposed to the designated White House setting from the first film. Like the first film, this has a plenty of action to keep viewers engaged throughout the film. The CGI is weak, but not by definition terrible. The thrills of the action sequences essentially outweigh those flaws. There were some humorous moments involving Banning being a bad ass, but some of the dialogue was pretty cringeworthy in that they just weren’t funny and that it was trying to almost be similar to White House Down with its humor. The first film had its witty/bad-ass dialogue, but it knew when to stop. This time around it seemed like it didn’t take itself quite as seriously. What this one lacked was depth and real drama in its story. Instead it plays out as a typical action popcorn film. There was no real sense of dread or real triumph by the end. What was also unnecessary was bringing in some of the characters from the first. With the exception of Morgan Freeman and Angela Bassett, there was simply no need for the returning actors/actresses, they served no real purpose to the story whatsoever unlike the previous film. Finally, there was the motive behind the attack, it was very cliched and revenge-driven, nothing remotely interesting, and the identity of the mole was not surprising, it was more like, “who the hell are you”?

If there was anything to praise about this film, it is the performances. Gerard Butler is just as bad ass and excellent as our hero, and his bromantic chemistry with the equally solid Aaron Eckhart as the President was perfect and has remained intact since the first. Morgan Freeman, while not bad, but he was just Morgan Freeman. Also returning is Angela Bassett who definitely has really the only real dramatic moment in the film and she nails it.

London Has Fallen isn’t a necessary sequel, nor is it a particularly GOOD sequel, but it’s decent and fun enough action film for fans of the genre. It’s also worth seeing for more Gerard Butler action and ass kicking.

3.5/5

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