MOVIE REVIEW: London Has Fallen (2016)

Directed by Babak Najafi

Three years after the box-office success of Olympus Has Fallen, directed by Antoine Fuqua, the team behind the film returns for another round of action, now outside their barriers in London. Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman returns with all the other supporting characters like Angela Bassett, Radha Mitchell and Melissa Leo who seemed to be demoted for having a short appearance.

The film takes place a year or less after the events of Olympus Has Fallen, not that it was stated in the movie but since Benjamin Asher (Eckhart) is still the president of the United States and counting Olympus, President Asher is likely to be on his third or fourth year of presidency. Moving on, it opens with news coverage of the incidents in the Philippines involving the MILF that everything from then on started from there or at least came from Mindanao. Of course, it already got our attention that the Philippines have something to do with the movie even though it wasn’t advertised.

Tracking the main man of the terrorist, Aamir Barkawi and launching a missile that killed his family but surprisingly left him alive but unknown to the allies, the following death of the British Prime Minister wasn’t all that peculiar to most as protocol was pushed through, all friends of the UK will attend the funeral of their leader including the US President. But as ready as they are, the terrorists are more than ready for them.

Even with rushed planning the president’s team including Mike Banning (Butler) who’s wife is about to gave birth weeks are all set to travel for three days in the UK with Lynne Jacobs (Bassett), the director of the US Secret Service. Everything seemed okay, leaders from around the world arrived safely, some earlier than expected including the US team. But one by one, all of the leaders got ambushed and killed, except for President Asher who is very much protected by Banning.

Action sequences pretty much covered the film from there, car chases, helicopter chase, running and gunning, they have it. This is the film’s selling point and it uses it well in its advantage. It’s more of the same of its predecessor but mostly gets ridiculously insane. British security teams have been compromised so they can’t trust anybody but themselves, these chases left everyone including secret service director Jacobs dead and no one’s left but Banning and president Asher.

The terrorists communicated with the Americans and threats that every life they take is on them if they don’t surrender their president to them. Of course, they didn’t. Banning, being resourceful as he is, goes to one of his trusted friends in the area, an MI6 agent. The two while successfully got out of the area being ambushed by the terrorists pretending to be the team the Americans sent failed in their pursuit to the US Embassy. President Asher is caught and on the last minute, Banning was saved by the American troops.

Finally knowing where the base of the terrorists is, Banning with the American troops immediately attacked the base even though the British troops are minutes away from them. This is the most interesting part of the film, they treated this sequence like a first-person-shooter game. And it’s the most impressive I’ve seen in a Hollywood film. It’s genuinely done that you get to feel like you’re part of it, the blowing, the gunning and jumping from there and there.

Of course, they rescued the president before he got executed in front of a camera with billions all over the world watching. It is indeed impossible, but the film is convinced that Banning can do it and Gerard Butler’s manly charisma is everything the film needed to make it believable.

It may not be a well-written movie but London Has Fallen is one of those films that turns to be a guilty pleasure. Its quality isn’t defined by how much it connects to its audience in a deep personal way but by how it entertains you. It may go ridiculously big with its complications and how the events affects its characters but its relentless high-octane action sequences are a treat.

London Has Fallen is action-packed, entertaining as hell and just gives you an unadulterated fun from start to finish. The film may not have worked if it’s not Gerard Butler and of course if Eckhart and Freeman wouldn’t return to reprise their roles. Yes, it may seem stupid at times but the fact that it didn’t care most of the time and just gone with its ludicrous action sequences is the best part of the film. You can’t deny that you’re having fun watching the film, thrilled, on the edge of your seat and enjoying every bit of explosions and exchanging of gunshots. It’s violent and it didn’t try the diplomatic way but it’s effective. It certainly delivered what it wants its audience to see.

03 London Has Fallen


3 Stars

“London Has Fallen” is now showing in Philippine cinemas from Multivision Pictures Entertainment  Philippines and VIVA International. Rated R-13 by the MTRCB.

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