‘London Has Fallen’ Review

Directed by Babak Najafi

Written by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Chad St. John, and Christian Gudegast

Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Melissa Leo, and Radha Mitchell

★★1/2☆☆☆

“London Has Fallen” is the follow up to 2013’s “Die Hard: White House,” I mean “Olympus Has Fallen.” Unfortunately for “London Has Fallen” Antoine Fuqua, the director of “Olympus Has Fallen,” was unable to return. Fuqua is a talented director having directed “Training Day,” “Southpaw,” and “The Equalizer.” Not having Fuqua return to direct “London Has Fallen” gives it the same problem as many action sequels that lose the original director, the movie feels like a store brand version of the previous director’s work. While Babak Najafi directs the movie competently and produces some thrilling action sequences, the film is essentially a store brand version of a Fuqua action film.

What throws me about this movie was that the film contains terrible CGI. A movie on the scale of “London Has Fallen” should have a bigger CGI budget. In the attack on London – the movie’s central set piece – the CG looks like something out a television program. The studio behind “London Has Fallen” could have invested in better CG for the movie’s central piece, the bad CG takes you out of the movie.

“London Has Fallen” is not altogether unwatchable. There is an interesting little subplot – although it is greatly underserved — about the mole in MI6. MI6’s mole is used as a throwaway narrative thread, essentially a MacGuffin. The mole could have, and should have, been used as the important subplot in the movie. “London Has Fallen” is a hollow film, it lacks substance. Allowing the MI6 mole story to develop and using it as an important subplot in the movie would give the movie substance. Without the mole story, “London Has Fallen” is Gerard Butler moving the President of the United States from action scene to action scene. The mole subplot would bring some story into the movie, and frankly, make the movie better for it.

“London Has Fallen” is a solid follow-up to “Olympus Has Fallen,” and while the movie has definite shortcomings, it is not a bad movie per se. “London Has Fallen” reminds one of the kinds of action movies that were made from the late 1980’s to the middle of 1990’s, is that a bad thing? I will let you decide that for yourself.

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