Posted Mar 02 2016

London Has Fallen - This Dumb As All Hell Movie Rocks In A Mindless Manner

Dir: Babak Najafi

Starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan (Paycheck) Freeman, Angela Bassett, Colin Salmon, Jackie Earle Haley, Radha Mitchell

The screening we attended for London Has Fallen last night came with both an on-screen message – and one from the usher on the way in – that as we were one of the "lucky ones" to be seeing this film before anyone else, please DON’T tweet, post of mention it on any form of social media before its release date of March 3. (We’re ignoring that.) Now surely the idea of having an early preview, is to create word of mouth? Surely the idea is to get people tweeting like crazy? Can the producers have so little faith in this sequel to their previously unexpected hit, that they are actively encouraging people to NOT talk about it?

Which is a bit of a shame really, because while it’s daft as daft can be, London Has Fallen is still pretty entertaining. Thanks in part to new to the franchise director Najafi who, despite being saddled with some of the ropiest CGI seen in many a year, knows how to handle an action set piece – and this is little more than several of those loosely strung together with some notion of a “plot” – and keeps things moving at such a clip that you don’t really notice the film’s failings.

One of which is the notion that any dead Prime Minister in the UK automatically gets a state funeral (nope!), another of which is the hoary old script, replete with a ceaseless strings of fuck-heavy naff one-liners designed to raise Gerard Butler (still the cheapest looking almost A-lister in the business) and his CIA superman into some kind of iconic figure. It doesn’t work, but he has a lot of fun along the way, brutally killing everyone in sight, pausing only to watch just about every major landmark in London blow up, all to preserve the life of his President Aaron Eckhart – who, in a real world coincidence no one here was thinking of, could turn out to be Donald Trump’s predecessor!

So it’s all very silly, but silly with aplomb. And, wisely, has absolutely no desire to be anything more than a slightly overpriced B movie. There’s no moral point of view here beyond “Damn, them terrorists is bad people! (And foreign!)” - there’s no state of the world commentary – there is stuff that goes boom. And then there is barely a pause before stuff goes boom again. More fun that the first one (but still no White House Down.)


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