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

  • Rapper from Little Rock club shooting held in separate case

    Entertainment CTV News
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A federal magistrate declared Monday that the rapper who was performing at a Little Rock club during a mass shooting was too dangerous to cut loose pending a trial on a separate weapons charge, rejecting arguments that gunplay captured on video and a tough-guy persona were just part of an act. Source
  • The Who's Roger Daltrey visits teenage cancer patients

    Entertainment CTV News
    CLEVELAND -- Roger Daltrey's voice may not soar as it once did. But even after 50 years of touring he hasn't lost his teenage spirit. The Hall of Fame rocker, who has been an advocate for teen cancer patients for nearly three decades, visited with children, young adults and their families at Rainbow Babies Hospital on Monday. Source
  • Box Office Top 20: 'Dunkirk,' 'Girls Trip' score

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The news was good for two of the three new openers this weekend. Christopher Nolan's World War II epic "Dunkirk" topped the charts with $50.5 million, while the buddy comedy "Girls Trip" earned $31.2 million to take second place. Source
  • 'Despacito' singers veto Venezuelan leader's campaign remix

    Entertainment CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- There's a new take on the hit Latin pop song "Despacito." And this one is not garnering accolades from its producers. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro premiered a remix of the song by Puerto Rican duo Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee Sunday, transforming the record-setting single about a slow, romantic seduction into a campaign jingle for his contested constitution rewrite. Source
  • Charlize Theron lost out on 'Showgirls' role to Elizabeth Berkley

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Charlize Theron is secretly glad she missed out on the lead role in Showgirls, because the movie was hammered by the critics. The role of Nomi Malone in the 1995 Paul Vorhoeven film went to Elizabeth Berkley after the Monster star fought hard for the part, convinced it would give her fledgling Hollywood career a huge boost. Source
  • 'The Defenders' review: This is the Marvel team-up you hoped for - Iron Fist and all

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    "The Defenders" is the type of superhero streaming that we've come to expect from Netflix's live-action Marvel productions. Well worth the wait, the new show is every bit the event that Marvel fans hoped it could be. Source
  • Justin Bieber on axed concerts: 'I’ve been on tour for two years!'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Justin Bieber is cancelling the rest of his Purpose World Tour “due to unforeseen circumstances.” His representatives didn’t offer details about the cancellation in a statement released Monday but said the singer “loves his fans and hates to disappoint them. Source
  • Kristen Stewart crashes same-sex nuptials in Winnipeg

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Hollywood starlet Kristen Stewart never starred in Wedding Crashers, but her antics over the weekend could land the 27-year-old in the sequel. Winnipeg newlyweds Kirsten and Kayleigh Jennings received quite the wedding gift – and surprise guests --after exchanging vows in their backyard and arriving at restaurant Pizzeria Gusto for their reception on Saturday night. Source
  • Hollywood star Kristen Stewart crashes Winnipeg wedding

    Entertainment CBC News
    Two Winnipeg brides got a bit of a surprise this weekend when Hollywood star Kristen Stewart crashed their wedding. Kirsten and Kayleigh Jennings tied the knot Saturday in a backyard in River Heights "It was kind of touch-and-go because on Saturday we had those torrential downpours. Source
  • THE ROCK: Forever a proud SUNshine Boy

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Never forget your roots! That’s The Rock’s motto. In Johnson’s “The Rock x Siri Dominate The Day” Apple Commercial released recently, viewers may have noticed the former wrestler’s phone background in the commercial was a picture of a young Johnson donning a turtleneck and fanny pack in his 1997 Toronto Sun SUNshine Boy photo shoot. Source