Tuesday, 8 March 2016

London Has Fallen Review

Gerard Butler is back saving the President of the United States once again in the new action film, 'London Has Fallen'. This is the sequel to the 2013 film 'Olympus Has Fallen' which was a fun action movie. But would 'London Has Fallen' follow up on that or would it be a colossal failure?

'London Has Fallen' stars Gerard Butler as Mike Banning and Aaron Eckhart as the President of the United States Benjamin Asher. Due to the UK Prime Ministers death, major leaders from around the world head to London for the funeral and to pay their respects. The event turns south and terrorists take control of the city with the aim of taking the world leaders out and then finally to publicly broadcast the execution of the President. It is now up to Mike Banning to save the life of the President before it is too late.

If you go into this film just expecting a fun action movie then you will definitely enjoy it. Don't go in expecting anything more, that really isn't the purpose of this film. 'London Has Fallen' would really fit in the 80's alongside other entertaining action movies that aren't went to be anything more. Don't expect great dramatic performances from this one.

Gerard Butler is back again as Mike Banning and as an action hero, he is pretty good. Obviously he looks the part as he looks as if he could take out many enemies. He is also very good at delivering the witty lines which is pretty essential in these types of movies. Sure some of them are pretty cheesy but most times they do work pretty well and produce some laughs. Butler does everything that an action hero should do.

Gerard Butler back as Mike Banning

Aaron Eckhart is also back as the President of the United States. I would probably say that he was more enjoyable to watch this time around. In the first film, he is held captive for most of the film but due to being in a different environment he has to be a part of the action first hand. Seeing him being involved in the fight against the terrorists was pretty enjoyable and something new that we didn't really get in Olympus.

Quite a lot of the time with sequels you just get the exact same movie but in a different location. 'London Has Fallen' so easily could've fell into this. There are some similarities in the film but for the most part there are differences. It is good that they didn't just have the president being held hostage for the entirety of the film as it would of been the exact same as Olympus.

There isn't that great logic in this film being perfectly honest. For some reason the only world leader with the suitable protection is the president. The German leader is standing out in the open with her protection behind her, what good is that? The French Prime Minister travelled via some sort of see through speedboat with no security with him. You can't really be surprised that something happened to him. Why was the only one with the adequate protection the American? Makes no sense.

There is a clear patriotism for America in this as well. I'm not surprised at all that al the world leaders were taken out so easily in this film except from America's. The story clearly shows the story that Americans will really eat up. It shows America defying all odds when faced with the toughest of challenges that only America would be able to do. I guess they didn't put Russia in this scenario in case of upsetting them. 'London Has Fallen' shows that no matter what, America will fight on and prevail over any challenge.

The villain in this film really isn't that great. Again he had the potential to be very good as you could see why he would want revenge on the western world. . He himself isn't in London or involved in any of the actual events in the terrorist attacks. He leaves everything down to henchmen whilst he sits at home and only interacts with characters via satellite and on the phone. He may of conducted it but he wasn't doing anything himself for the whole film. He also wants the president to be murdered live on TV. Why not any of the other leaders? Why did it matter if it were on TV? It would still carry a rippling effect especially with all the death and destruction caused. It was definitely just a mechanism to buy time for Banning to try rescue the president.

The CGI in this film at most points is terrible. In Olympus, most of the CGI was smaller scale so there wasn't a huge need for the effects. However in London the CGI is used on a much larger scale. Bridges are destroyed as well as destruction to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. This had the potential to look fantastic. However the effects were not up to standard and most looked very poor. There were better effects in the 90's than in this film. It did lead to quite a lot of it looking very unrealistic and pretty silly.

Destruction to London

The ending of the film is also pretty questionable. They don't seem to learn their lesson and just carry out the same ruthlessness that got them into bother in the first place. Why just do the exact same thing causing more destruction and probably making yourself even less popular with that side of the world.

Final Verdict: Olympus Has Fallen = C
For what it is, you will get entertainment from 'London Has Fallen'. Don't go in expecting a masterpiece as you won't get it. Go in for a good time and enjoy the film. I wouldn't recommend you rushing to go out and see this in cinema. Most definitely recommend you picking it up on DVD and getting friends around to have a good time with.

Now that I have finished the review there is something that I want to talk about with this film. There may be some SPOILERS in this part so you have been warned. It resembles another film very closely which I found quite odd. No it isn't Olympus. The film that I saw so many similarities in this film with was actually 'Cloverfield'. This movie was fresh in my head as I had watched it the night before. But oh my god there are actually quite a few similarities. For example, one of the first attacks in 'Cloverfield' involves taking out the Brooklyn Bridge. A bridge in London Has Fallen is also destroyed carrying much devastation. There is also a very similar helicopter crash that features in both films. Even more closely is there being a few survivors. Also an impalement to a main character is present in both of these films. Another thing that stuck in my head that was so similar was when Banning and President Asher were travelling through the underground whilst the conflict was going on and eventually where they encountered more terrorists. Oddly familiar to what goes on in 'Cloverfield'. There is also a scene where there is war on a street between the two sides. The camera work in this scene makes you feel a part of what's going on as if you are actually there. Possibly the most similar thing between the two films when compared with the found footage scene in 'Cloverfield' when they attack the beast. Pretty much it seems like if you took out terrorists for monsters, you would nearly have the same film. This is just something that I was thinking about and wanted to share with you. If you have seen both films, what do you think of the similarities?

If you have seen 'London Has Fallen' what did you think of it? Once again thank you so much for reading my review, it is much appreciated. 

By Angus McGregor