Release date: 3rd March 2016/Watch the trailer here
2013 brought us not one, but two films involving the White House being attacked by terrorists. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I missed the Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx starring White House Down, but I did catch Olympus Has Fallen, and I remember sort-of enjoying it in that ‘leave your brain at the door’ kind of way. I thought that its 2016 sequel, London Has Fallen, might have been fun, at least. It turns out I was wrong.
Gerard Butler plays Mike Banning, the most Scottish-sounding American ever, delegated with the task of guarding Aaron Eckhart’s President Benjamin Asher during the funeral of the British Prime Minister in London, an event which most of the world’s most powerful leaders must attend, and therefore the perfect target for a terrorist attack.
Surprise, surprise, it doesn’t take long for the English capital to dissolve into chaos as every landmark is obliterated and world leaders (including a French President who decides to be late to the PM’s funeral on purpose, a hapless Japanese Prime Minister stuck in traffic, and an Italian President frolicking with his girlfriend at Westminster Abbey) are assassinated. Luckily, Gerard Butler is on the case, and no amount of stereotypical terrorist characters with rocket launchers and a ludicrous evil plan can stop him.
So, if you’re after a film with Gerard Butler monotonously shooting, stabbing and punching bad guys while making one-liners that all have a whiff of xenophobia, homophobia or casual sexism about them, then you’ll probably love London Has Fallen. If you want to watch poor old Morgan Freeman (as Vice President Trumbull) have his acting talents restricted to nothing more than staring at a screen with a concerned look on his face, this is the film for you.
I’d like to think that most of us have higher standards than that, though. Even if you’re a fan of macho action films with lots of explosions and a silly plot – which London Has Fallen most certainly, unashamedly is – then this is a pretty poor affair, with not one distinguishing feature to separate it from every other film in the macho-action-film-starring-Gerard-Butler genre.
If you want to watch a film with lots of violence and some rude jokes this month, do yourself and your brain cells a favour and go and watch Deadpool instead.