Movie Reviews

Published on March 4th, 2016 | by gareth

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London Has Fallen

A Few years after saving the President in “Olympus Has Fallen”; Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), returns to save the day in “London Has Fallen”.  When the Prime Minister of England dies unexpectedly, the leaders of the world gather in London to attend the funeral.  The lack of advance preparations necessitated by the sudden passing makes security teams very nervous as several of the most prominent Western leaders are going to be gathered in one place. Banning is waiting for the birth of his first child and is contemplating resigning from the Secret Service despite his long-standing friendship with President Asher (Aaron Eckhart).  Despite this, Banning nonetheless agrees to accompany the president to London to provide his security detail with his leadership and experience.

Banning decides to shake things up a bit and deviate from their posted itinerary which keeps their exact travel schedule known only to himself and a couple others.  Things seem to be going as planned when a series of devastating attacks erupt all over London.  Not knowing who can be trusted and where the enemy will strike next, Banning and the President are forced to battle an enemy that seems to be everywhere and always anticipating their plans as they attempt to reach safety.

from an action film.  There are plenty of solid car chases, firefights, explosions, intrigue, and of course an abundance of bad guys for the hero to dispatch.  The film works well as Banning is not afraid to let his emotions show but is also steadfast in his duty to protect the President no matter the cost.  Banning is not an unstoppable killing machine or the one man army that is so common amongst action films as he is a dangerous and skilled person who is still able to admit he cannot do this alone and seeks help when it is needed. 

Eckhart is given more to do this time out than simply play hostage and it is great to see him getting down and dirty at times when the action heats up.  The film does take some moments to indulge in what many might call flag-waving jingoism with its over-the-top patriotic message which considering Butler’s Scottish heritage does seem a bit out of place at times.  That being said, “London Has Fallen”, is a rare sequel that is as good if not better than the original and Director Babak Najafi keeps the film moving at a breakneck pace yet keeps the film a character driven story that never lets up once the action revs up.

Here is hoping that Banner and Asher have another outing in the near future as “London Has Fallen” is a real surprise and a great thrill ride from start to finish.

4 stars out of 5.

 

Second Review by Joseph Saulnier

 

Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is back in action in London Has Fallen, the follow up to Olympus Has Fallen.  Our film opens on a lavish wedding party in Pakistan, where the father of the bride is a member of the FBI’s top-ten most wanted list.  The U.S. Government has just authorized a drone strike of the party.  It ended very quickly.

 

Fast forward two years, we catch with Mike Banning who is having his first child with wife, Leah (Radha Mitchell).  Banning is still the Secret Service Agent assigned to President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), while Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) has stepped into the role of Vice President.  Everything seemed to be nice and peaceful, until the British Prime Minister dies unexpectedly, and all of the world leaders are expected to attend the state funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

 

As the leaders of the world arrive at the funeral, it doesn’t take long before chaos ensues.  Major landmarks in London are attacked, law enforcement begin turning on their own, and the world leaders are being picked off one by one.  Tasked to keep Asher safe, Banning has another catastrophe to fight through this time.

 

This film gives you exactly what you expect from an action film.  The plot is flimsy, but somewhat feasible.  I did actually like the concept of family it presented, but that’s possibly due to a new phase of life I am transitioning in to.  There are a lot of great one liners from many of the cast, and there is one action sequence at the pinnacle act of the movie that is particularly pleasing.  Ultimately, as long you understand that you are walking into a straight up action film, that is right on par with the first, than you are going to like the movie.  It’s fun.  And fret not, you do not have to have seen the first film, to enjoy this one.

 

Time to pose the question I always ask myself when I am lucky enough to get to screen a film: will I buy it upon home release?  Well, I have the Olympus in my current collection.  I enjoyed that one, and I enjoy this one, too.  It’s a great film to put on when you just want a great action movie that knows what it is.  Who knows, it might replace my current go-to in that category, another Butler film: Gamer.  Yes, there are way better action films, but gamer hits home with me, as a… well, gamer.  Anyway, check it out.  It would make a great movie for guys’ night, or day, out.

 

3.5 stars out of 5

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About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.



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