"London Has Fallen" Review

You go to see London Has Fallen in the theater for two simple reasons: destruction and survival. How is London going to be destroyed? What does that look like on the big screen? Will our heroes survive, and if so, how? Outside of that, why else would you see a film that’s been done before but with different characters? Let’s talk about it.

In the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen, Gerard Butler is back as Mike Banning, a secret service agent assigned to President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart). After the funeral of the British Prime Minister brings the world’s leaders to London, a massive strike against them all takes everyone out, accept the president of the United States. With a target on the president’s head, terrorist Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) and his son Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter) send all of their goons after Banning and Asher to insure their vengeance on behalf of their dead loved one is carried out.

So now you know the plot of the film. As far as the destruction of buildings, guns and weapons, it all looks good and sounds even better. London is really just a survive the night film, set predominately during the day. It has everything you need to get sucked in and believe the locations, weapons and technology.

What you won’t believe is that Banning is the only person in this cinematic world who can shoot and hit their target every time while managing to dodge every bullet and RGP sent his way. You won’t believe that the world leaders are always a couple steps behind Banning’s intellect, and have no clue what’s going on most of the film. Even President Asher seems more like a boy following his father for protection. You would think he learned how to hold a gun and fight since the last incident. As long as you suspend your disbelief for the film’s 99 minute run time, you’ll enjoy this bullet ridden, action thriller!

London Has Fallen looks like a flawless game of Call of Duty! Seriously, there is an awesome one take in which Banning and British Forces push down a street corridor guns blazing. It’s beautifully shot and executed, and would likely be where Call of Duty gets inspiration from when they turn the game into a feature film. Or maybe it was the reverse? I have to give it up for the banter in the film. Butler and Eckhart sell the Die Hard reminiscent lines and create nice buddy action chemistry on screen.

Save your money, and watch the film when it comes on Netflix. If you like action films where the main character’s bullets don’t miss and they pop off witty one liners, then this one is for you! The only question is, which city will this franchise destroy next?

Rating: C-


Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.