Review: 'London Has Fallen' an action throwback


LONDON HAS FALLEN: 3 STARS

Fans of 1980s action will recognize "London Has Fallen's" set up. A veteran Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler) is about to hang up their holster but gets sucked in for one last, dangerous job.

See Full Article

It's a heady mix of "Lethal Weapon" and "Die Hard" where characters say things right out of the tough guy playbook like "Do me a favour… Stay alive," and ethnic stereotypes never die.

After saving POTUS from a terrorist attack inside the White House in "Olympus Has Fallen," Butler is back for a second go round as Mike Banning, secret service agent extraordinaire. He's about to become a father and wants to leave his old life behind. In fact, he's typing out a letter of resignation when he gets a call from the Oval Office. The British Prime Minister has died suddenly and President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) has to go to England for the state funeral.

With only 24 hours to plan the trip Banning is nervous about security but is assured that this will be "the most protected event on earth."

London Has Fallen film review

Of course the funeral is not protected enough or the movie would be called "London Has Not Fallen." A massive terrorist attack kills several world leaders, hundreds of innocent bystanders and decimates most of the landmarks in the British capital.

Turns out the man responsible for the attack, an arms dealer named Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul), has a personal grudge against Asher and doesn't care how many people he has to kill to get his vengeance. Banning is a formidable one-man army—his Spidey senses are always tingling—but will he be able to keep the President safe and prevent the what's left of London from collapsing into the Thames?

"London Has Fallen" is terror-porn of the highest order, but while half of London is covered in CGI ashes, there is an inherent lack of stakes because you know in your heart that nothing is going to happen to the President. He may be bloodied but by the time the end credits roll it is a guarantee he will be unbowed.

London Has Fallen film review

So, with no real tension, what's left? Plenty of 80s inspired action, that's what. Like a lost relic from John McClane's heyday the movie presents a main character who could be a case study in 'Hero or Psychopath' 101. He causes carnage with a twinkle in his eye, torturing and killing people in the name of protecting the Prez.

It's all action, all the time, feeling like a throwback to a time when grim faced heroes took on impossible odds—"There's nearly 100 terrorists in there," Banning is told before entering a terror hive alone. "They should've brought more men," he grunts.—spouted one liners and the bad guys were anyone with an exotic accent.

It's not particularly enlightened in its world outlook and dismisses the female members of the cast—all of Oscar winner Melissa Leo's lines could be written on the head of a pin—but if you choose not to think about it much, it's good, high-octane fun.

Just as dangerous as the bullets and bombs on display is the minefield of tough guy clichés Butler navigates.

"I never thought you'd outlive me…" BOOM! "The only person you trust right now is me!" BANG! Like an endlessly looping GIF the banalities never stop. Butler delivers them with gusto, but don't go to "London Has Fallen" looking for witty or original dialogue. Very little has been done to update the story from its 80s roots. Now the bad guys broadcast on the internet—"It's on social media!" screams a near hysterical Deputy Chief Mason (Jackie Earle Haley)—but that's about it for new ideas.

To sum it up: You've seen "London Has Fallen" before, but you've never seen it quite like this.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Director James Gunn fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 over old tweets

    Entertainment CBC News
    James Gunn was fired Friday as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 because of old tweets that recently emerged where he joked about subjects like pedophilia and rape. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said in a statement that the tweets are indefensible, and the studio has severed ties with Gunn. Source
  • Director James Gunn fired from 'Guardians 3' over old tweets

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- James Gunn was fired Friday as director of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" because of old tweets that recently emerged where he joked about subjects like pedophilia and rape. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said in a statement that the tweets are indefensible, and the studio has severed ties with Gunn. Source
  • David Spade: Family coming together after Kate Spade's death

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Just a month after funeral services for his sister-in-law, comic-actor David Spade was back to business, promoting his new movie. But he also offered a few words about his family tragedy. Fashion designer Kate Spade was married to David's brother, entrepreneur Andy Spade. Source
  • Robin Williams artworks, memorabilia to be auctioned

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Artworks owned by Robin Williams and memorabilia from his career including autographed scripts, awards and props will be auctioned in the fall. Sotheby's announced Friday that the collection of Williams and his wife, Marsha, will be auctioned in New York on Oct. Source
  • No promises to change 'Kanata' after Robert Lepage meets with show's opponents

    Entertainment CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The executive director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal says Quebec director Robert Lepage hasn't committed to including Indigenous performers in his upcoming show after meeting with community members. Nakuset, who uses only one name, says she was one of about 40 people who attended a six-hour meeting with Lepage's team on Thursday to discuss their concerns with the casting of Kanata, which will be performed in Paris by a French acting group in December. Source
  • Rapper Common goes back to school to help teachers

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Rapper Common has won three Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award but a recent visit to a New York City school was "humbling" -- mainly because many of the students were too young to know his music. Source
  • From beer to 'Mamma Mia!': 'The Most Interesting Man in the World' talks Canada and Cher

    Entertainment CTV News
    He doesn’t always appear in romantic jukebox musicals, but when he does, “The Most Interesting Man in the World” picks the most quintessential of them all: “Mamma Mia!” Though he’s more known for blood that smells like cologne and once fooling a psychic, Jonathan Goldsmith -- the actor famous for playing a suave beer drinker in the Dos Equis TV spots -- makes a brief cameo in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” out today. Source
  • A year after 'Despacito' has Latin music found a permanent home on Canadian radio?

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Singer Alx Veliz is certain that a recent swell in the popularity of Latin music is signalling a change of tastes with many Canadian listeners. He points to the numerous Latin songs that broke into mainstream consciousness across the country last year, led by the colossal hit, "Despacito," performed by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber. Source
  • Sesame Street to enter U.S. classrooms in new deal with McGraw-Hill Education

    Entertainment CBC News
    Sesame Street is taking its beloved, critically acclaimed brand of educational television into the highly profitable world of classroom curriculum — a move that experts say could open the door for other companies to move into the sensitive learning space with possible influence on children. Source
  • Sesame Street to enter classrooms in new deal with McGraw-Hill Education

    Entertainment CBC News
    Sesame Street is taking its beloved, critically acclaimed brand of educational television into the highly profitable world of classroom curriculum — a move that experts say could open the door for other companies to move into the sensitive learning space with possible influence on children. Source