London Has Fallen (2016) Review

There are some actors that have just have the so called “X Factor”. In that no matter what they do, they put everything in it to make it as believable as possible. Gerard Butler is one of them actors. He has been a Spartan warrior, bounty hunter, avenging father/husband, love interest, real life video game character and head of security for the president. Granted all of them films weren’t amazing, but what made them watchable was the sheer likability of Butler. When it comes to leading roles that is sometimes all you need to make what should have been an awful film okay. Gerard has fun in all his films and you can easily see that. And I would go as far to say that the films would have been destined for the DVD bargain bucket had it been any other actor.

Olympus Has Fallen (2013) reminded me of the 90’s. Ridiculous plot, massive shootouts, huge explosions and an invincible leading man and it was awesome! It was exactly like the good old days of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. When a film doesn’t take itself seriously and has fun instead then that’s when film gold happens. Forget the fact it’s cheesy. If I get hilarious one liner puns and everyone having unlimited bullets, then I’m happy. Obviously, this is my opinion but so many movies get the formula wrong. When it comes to action films, they are quite obviously not based on real life. There is no way one man could take down an entire army (Commando etc.) without dying. And there would be no film if the leading man would get killed off in the finale. So, what do you do? You make the character have perfect aim and invulnerability. It’s movie genius! Yeah, he can take odd shot in the arm or leg. But he doesn’t bleed, because he’s a man on a mission goddammit, and he will kill everyone and save whoever it is, and be back in time to catch Deal or No Deal.

Which brings me on to London Has Fallen (2016) the somewhat-unnecessary-but-I’ll-take-it sequel. It’s Gerard Butler kicking ass so I’m going to watch it. Hell, I would watch Gerard Butler fighting an angry bunch of squirrels and it would still be awesome. This sequel pretty much kicks off where the last one finished. Gerard’s Mike Banning, now head of Secret Service, is by Aaron Eckhart’s President’s side, performing his daily duties when suddenly tragedy strikes in the form of the British Prime Minister dying. Obviously, this being a big deal, it’s decided that the leaders of the world should attend his funeral right here good old London. Mike pleads with the president not to go but the president is all about showing face and says he hasn’t got a choice. Meanwhile the baddies are hatching a super-secret plan to kill all the world leaders in one go. And that’s your plot ladies and gentlemen. When shit hits the fan, it’s not too long before Mike is doing what he does best and kicking ass and protecting the president again. And that’s when the film finally gets enjoyable. The action scenes are thick, fast and bloody. Just how they should be. And of course, Gerard cracks some awesome one liners. The best being when Mike is told there is more than 100 terrorists in the building and his response is “Yeah? Well, they should’ve brought more men.”

The next hour of the film is just so good. It’s certainly a lot more OTT than the first but that’s fine. Bigger is better after all, right? Not always. Sadly, it never quite hits the heights of the first film but it sure does come close. I think it comes down to the location. The first one was tense because it was limited to just the white house. Whereas this one literally takes place all over London. Which is nice if you haven’t seen London before but for someone like me who lives 20 minutes away. I want less London and more action! But really, that’s an incy wincy minor niggle. This film is super fun and that’s all the matters. If you like the first and you don’t like the second, well then I’ll eat my hat for dinner tomorrow…

And if you’re already a fan of both well then you may or may not have heard that there will be a 3rd Fallen film! Its titled Pants Have Fallen. Totally legit….

Until next time, Hasta La Vista! Literally no idea what that means…

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