London Has Fallen was no where near the list of movies in 2016 that I was looking forward to. I didn’t care for its predecessor (Olympus Has Fallen) too much and it just didn’t look to be something that should even be made in the first place. However, there’s a reason why it’s sometimes best to give things a chance. While they may not look like much, opportunities such as this have the ability to surprise you by giving you more than what you thought you would get.
Gerard Butler is back as Mike Banning, the most trusted Secret Service agent of Aaron Eckhart’s U.S. President Benjamin Asher. While he’s considering retirement, Banning finds himself on both the defensive and the offensive once again as the President’s life is in danger. This time, instead of being caught between the hallowed walls of the White House, he’s fighting a war on the streets of London after a series of terrorist attacks disrupt the funeral of a powerful world leader.
London has Fallen is insane as its action is full-fledged and energetic. As one would most likely be anticipating, there’s some build up in order to catch up with the characters and put the plot together, but everything gets flowing soon after that takes place. The style of violence here is the grown folks version of high-octane action in cinema. It’s filled with bullets, blades and bombs with a little close-quarters combat peppered around it all.
In short, it’s a throwback of sorts that I’ve missed more than I realized. You don’t usually get an opportunity to watch these kinds of movies these days. Most of the time, action movies of this generation take forever to get things moving and there’s usually a bit too much story involved even when there’s some quality violence taking place. Although I do like many of them, these overextended modern action movies slow things down more than they need too and don’t allow for the films to be what they’re supposed to be in many instances because of it.
Because of this more old school approach to things, London Has Fallen made sure to keep my eyes locked onto the screen the entire time. It also benefits from its short run time since it doesn’t take long before we’re thrown into the hail of gunfire and explosions that are waiting right around the corner. Watching the action fly by this quickly and efficiently helps in making it all worth the price of admission at your respective movie theater.
My only complaint is that the green screen and CGI effects are a bit too obvious at times. It’s too noticeable during instances of some of the bloodshed and when looking at some of the unrealistic streets that are being ran through at times. This is kind of agitating, but the film if so enjoyable that it was hard for those issues to get in the way and disrupt the overall entertainment value that’s being delivered.
Since I’m not too fond of the first one, it’s easy to see why I couldn’t get excited about this sequel. It looked like a failure waiting to happen, but this action flick turned out to be more than I truly bargained for. With what it’s able to deliver, London Has Fallen easily soars above expectations. It’s funny that sticking t the basics of what your genre is can do for you as a filmmaker. A part of me hopes that films of every genre will move toward doing this in the future, but the realist in me says otherwise.
Director: Babak Najafi
Waleed F. Zuaiter
Jackie Earle Haley
Alon Moni Aboutboul
Film Length: 99 minutes
Release Date: March 4, 2016
Distributor: Gramercy Pictures