Gerard Butler’s commendable performance fails to save film’s predictable plot
Review by Adam Winn, Staff writer
Like most blockbuster sequels, “London Has Fallen” hits all of the requirements it needs in order to be a political action thriller. With that said, audience members looking for an action film with little narrative that, subsequently, doesn’t require much thought are bound to find this film enjoyable, but the remaining viewers are going to be profoundly dissatisfied.
The film picks up the plot three years after the events of its prequel, “Olympus Has Fallen.” The British prime minister has just died under mysterious circumstances and all of the major world leaders are invited to his funeral. Mike Banning (Gerald Butler), who is still the U.S. president’s (Aaron Eckhart) top Secret Service agent, escorts the president to London for the memorial service.
Not long after their arrival, multiple bombs explode, killing a majority of the world’s leaders. The group of extremists behind the explosions is revealed to be an assemblage of Muslim terrorists that have infiltrated the police and military forces.
The radical group demands the life of the president in order to cease bombings throughout London, and if they don’t comply, “then all future deaths will be on your hands.” Back in the States, Vice President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) uses all resources available to assist Banning in getting the president safely back home.
If the viewer has a basic understanding of how action movies work, then they will be able to figure out how the plot is going to go for this one. The film’s storyline is straight-forward and has no shocking twists or anything unique. Spectators watching this movie will probably find the plot exceedingly formulaic and feel as if they have already watched a similar narrative.
Another harmful plot device this film uses is the fact that it seems to make the entire Muslim population look like a terrorist force that America needs to stop. The film’s dialogue even consists of racist comments. For instance, at one point in the film the main character says to one of the extremists he’s killing, “get back to F***headistan or wherever you’re from.”
The sequel had a budget of more than 60 million dollars, and the audience will deduce that the bulk of the funds were spent constructing the film’s vivid action sequences with the use of CGI and on obtaining its A-list cast members.
The acting was the overall highlight of the film, but with the cast comprising Freeman, Butler and several other recognizable faces, it’s not a complete surprise. With that said, none of the performances were Oscar-worthy, and most of the cast undoubtedly reprised their specific roles for the paycheck.
“London Has Fallen” is an unoriginal film that audiences are bound to forget moments after leaving the theater. If viewers go into this film and don’t really pay any attention to its superficial narrative and are looking to watch another typical action-packed sequel, then spectators might have a decent experience.
Conversely, viewers that are looking for something unique or thought-provoking would be better off watching the grass grow outside instead of viewing this lackluster, refurbished follow-up film.