Director: Babak Najafi
Starring: Gerald Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Alon Aboutboul, Radha Mitchell
Written by: Christian Gudegast, Chad St. John, (also story and based on the characters created) Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt
Running Time: 99 mins
Release date: 3rd March 2016
At last! A comedy that is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. A film filled with such ridiculous characters and obvious stereotypes, you cannot help but fall about in tears, while helped along with some of the most painfully funny dialogue this side of Airplane! I have waited for quite some time to laugh as much as I did here…Hang on. This wasn’t meant to be a comedy, was it? This was meant to be a serious action thriller. Whoops! Guess it works better as a comedy then.
The British Prime Minister has passed away, leading to a state funeral where all the world’s leaders are invited to attend, including President Benjamin Asher and his close friend and bodyguard, Mike Banning. Things, however, are not right and soon London comes under attack by an arms dealer whose family was virtually wiped out some years before and is seeking revenge, especially on the Asher, who he wants to execute on live TV. What the terrorist doesn’t realise is that Banning isn’t going to allow that to happen.
The sequel to the equally awful Olympus Has Fallen was about a terrorist attack on the White House, where secret service agent Banning was the only man inside who could be trusted and who could save the day. This moves to a bigger stage, that of London, and yet it’s business as usual for the one-man fighting machine. Only thing is, if you thought Olympus Has Fallen was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
This film has the word stinker written all the way through it. From the blatant level of racism, in which the villains are Middle Eastern (and although the word Muslim is never mentioned, you know exactly where their xenophobia is aimed). Then there are the subtle accusations that the British authorities are useless at their jobs. As the “terrorists” manage to disguise themselves as police officers, paramedics and even the Royal Guard! Yet no one noticed these “strangers” marching alongside their own while sporting obvious villain type moustaches?
Once you can overlook these faults, you still have the awful jingoism of the piece, that only the Americans can save the day. I wouldn’t mind but considering the lead is Scottish by birth, it becomes incredibly laughable. We have action sequences that are poorly executed and special effects that look like they’ve been created. Explosions that seem to have been stuck on, like a bizarre version of fuzzy felts! Let’s not even go anywhere near the ludicrous and often cliched dialogue, with cracking lines like: “He’s number 6 on the list!” and the old chestnut: To those who threaten our freedom: America will rise up. And make no mistake; we will find you, and we will destroy you.
The performances are just as awful, from actors who really should know better. Gerald Butler, reprising his role of Banning, is even gruffer and violent than before, with his confused accent and his approach to killing like some psycho being given a knife for the first time since being locked up. Aaron Eckhart as the President has the face of a man who has just got enough money to buy an extension to his house while Morgan Freeman doesn’t just phone in his performance, he e-mails it!
London HasFallen is a mess from start to finish and I found myself both fighting the boredom of another computer game style killing spree and laughing like a loon at just how bad this film really is. Yet, in spite of all it’s faults this could be this year’s funniest comedy…well it’s a darn sight funnier than Dirty Grandpa and Grimsby put together…and just as offensive!