Review: ‘London Has Fallen’ is Simple But Fun
“London Has Fallen” has the same intensity as “Olympus” but also the same flaws.
The sequel to “Olympus Has Fallen” has come unnecessarily but regardless still brings the fun from the first film. This time around the President (Aaron Eckhart) travels to London to attend a funeral accompanied by Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). As expected from the trailers and the title itself, things do not go according to plan.
Cinematics – 2.5
It’s not a surprise that “London Has Fallen” falls a bit short on cinematics. The first film didn’t bring a lot to the table in regard either, so of course with a sequel, we get an even more diluted version of the original. But with that said, it doesn’t mean “London Has Fallen” didn’t have its moments in other areas.
First off, let’s start with the bad parts of this film. It plays out like a cheap action film which some may find appealing but it doesn’t change the fact of the matter. The plot is of child-like simplicity from beginning to end. I’m not going to spoil the film but at about 15 minutes in, I bet you could predict how the rest of the film plays out. The dialogue between the characters is about as abrupt as the action and the subject matter of the conversations feels about forced to say the least. I could touch upon the acting but I think it would be unfair to judge performances based on such poorly written dialogue. I will just say that for what they’re given, the cast does more than fine.
The more pleasant side of this film’s quality would be mostly centered around the on set location. London is beautifully captured from multiple angles and there is quite a bit of visual appeal from the multiple viewing angles of the iconic city. As terrorist overtake the city, we get an in-depth, fast-paced look at the recognizably beautiful environment. As they run through the streets filled with bullets and explosions, we get a glimpse of these landmarks that make you feel like you’re part of the city despite the chaos that ensues.
As for the action sequences themselves, I would rank them right down the middle. The are definitely fun (which we’ll get into later) but the CGI could have used a little bit of polishing. The car chases, gunfights, and other more practical effects are fitting and fluid in regards to the action-based premise. But once the explosions come and even some of the bloodier moments, the CGI is actually distracting. It’s not terrible, there were just a few key moments that stood out during the film.
Overall the film was a cheap representation of cinematic standards but not a deterrent as fast-paced action and suspense are the focus of this film.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
While this film may be distracting to prestigious cinephiles, “London Has Fallen” should fit the general public standard very nicely in regards to entertainment. It has more of a slow start than “Olympus” but once things get moving the action is intense, fun, and humorous at times. Through and through, Gerard Butler knows how to play an action hero and he does so very well in this film. It’s almost reminiscent of an early Schwarzenegger film that you love to hate.
As action films are not for everyone, I will say that “London Has Fallen” may lose appeal with its alpha male mentality. But I’m sure that even the most uptight of viewers will still find enjoyment at some point during this film. With a premise so easy to follow and the dialogue concise and to the point, the entire adventure turns into a non-stop thrill ride. From the car chases to the explicit quips to the invincible one man army (Butler), “London Has Fallen” will most likely appeal to those that love the action genre.
Rewatchability – 3
“London Has Fallen” follows typical action film tropes but still has some replay value. As said above, it’s just plain fun for its genre and it doesn’t represent itself as anything other than that. The plot isn’t there and neither is character development really, but I’ll probably watch it again a few times but probably wouldn’t seek it out.
Also be sure to check out our interview with Angela Bassett!
"London Has Fallen" prides itself as a fun, fast-paced action film but that focus leaves a lot left out as far as its cinematic value. But while it lacks in many areas cinematically, overall it was a fun ride. If you enjoyed "Olympus Has Fallen" and are interested in a change of venue, then my guess is that you will enjoy this film.