London has Fallen (2016) – Film Review

The right side of dumb


I’m slowly catching up with the latest releases.  London Has Fallen reunites Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart as Presidential bodyguard Mike Banning and POTUS Benjamin Asher for a second instalment of bloody violence and one liners.  The sudden and unexpected death of the British Prime Minister sees leaders from all over the world descend on London for the State funeral.  Only problem is that the dastardly Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) has a few nasty surprises up his sleeve in revenge for an attack on his family.

I had a fun time with Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and was happy that the stars were getting a second outing albeit nervous they couldn’t repeat the recipe.  I’m happy to say that it’s more of the same.  We get 20 minutes or so of set up picking up with Banning weighing his future options before its bomb explosions, shootings, knife to the eye and a decapitation I’m sure Deadpool would have approved of.  They’ve sharpened up the one liners this time around and I can report regular laughter in my screening.  For me this franchise has learned to straddle that fine line between taking itself seriously enough so that the action delivers in an uncompromising way while occasionally winking at the camera.

The fact that this film was made to a budget doesn’t show too much but some of the CGI explosions are not of the highest order and let things down a bit.  There are also a couple of scenes when the dialogue while attempting to be rabble rousing threatens to turn racist.  Proudly claiming we’re still going to be around in a thousand years is just a little bit Third Reichish.  Just saying.

London Has Fallen is for those who like the stripped down action flick that at circa 90 minutes doesn’t outstay its welcome.  It combines appropriate levels of violence with funny one liners that brings back great memories of watching Die Hard (1988).  I’m not saying the two are the same re quality but this is well executed for this genre.  My rating 3/5.


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