Monday 25 July 2016

London Has Fallen

Following on from the first film, ‘Olympus Has Fallen’, ‘London Has Fallen’ (directed by Babak Najafi) contains a subject topic that may feel a little close to home considering recent events. After the British Prime Minister appears to die of natural causes, a selection of world leaders all come to England to pay their respects at his funeral in London. However, this particular event has been chosen for a sudden terrorist attack that threatens to take out all of the visiting world leaders, along with many innocent civilians. 

Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself right in the middle of it all as he focuses on getting U.S President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) to a safe place, with lots of action and destruction along the way.  With the recent events that we’ve seen even over the past month, I knew that ‘London Has Fallen’ was going to be distressing to watch – fortunately the UK has not seen anything like this yet, but seeing it happen on the screen still made me feel quite uneasy. Despite its action-packed content and Hollywood script, it’s still one of those films that could get you a bit emotional if you spend too much time dwelling on it.

I thought the CGI was fantastic throughout – each attack genuinely looked real, yet it also wasn’t overdone. There were a few really gory bits (again, distressing!), but these still were done much better than I expected them to be.  Despite being a sequel with continuation of characters, I thought that ‘London Has Fallen’ also really worked as a stand-alone film. It was quite easy to get into from the start, even with quite a slow build-up to the action. The plot was a ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ sort of storyline – it wasn’t that complex and I’d go as far as saying it was actually quite predictable, but that didn’t mean that it was any less enjoyable. It was clichéd and full of scenes of people surviving where they clearly shouldn’t, but I guess we were all expecting that.

I did find myself questioning some particular strategies and moves, as I got the feeling that a lot of it was really just there for the viewing. I think that was the main problem I had – the film was hugely political because of its relevance, yet there wasn’t really that much politics in it at all. It just wasn’t that clever.

That isn’t to say everything else was bad though. The action was exciting to watch, the acting was all great, and it was certainly engaging enough to keep you watching to the very end. There were some really clever one-liners used at points, and I particularly enjoyed the chemistry between Mike and the President, which really did make the film. Morgan Freeman also performed excellently as Vice President Alan Trumbull back in America (perhaps this is what America is missing out on in their own world of politics?!).

I’d say ‘London Has Fallen’ is more worth-watching than not – it just depends on what your expectations are from the film. It’s not a dark, intriguing watch full of twists like some action films to grace our screens, but it’s still entertaining and I guess it does give you something to think about. The film is also left open at the end, which suggests the potential for a third movie in the series.  Watch it if you like action and you enjoyed the first one, but just don’t expect too much from it.

I give London has Fallen a 3/5.


Hannah Read

London Has Fallen at CeX

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