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By: Joe Jodoin
Remember three years ago when some over-the-top Die Hard rip-off came out of nowhere, and it actually turned out better than the last couple Die Hard movies? Well that movie got a sequel, full of more of the same mindless action. London Has Fallen is a fun throwback to the simplistic but entertaining action movies of the late 80s, early 90s period of cinema. Think of the classics with Schwarzenegger, Stallone, or Van Damme, full of graphic violence and cartoony explosions. This film will at least provide a short period of escapism for action lovers, but not much else for other audiences.
The story follows Islamic terrorists who carry out an attack at the British Prime Minister’s funeral, in order to kill most of the world’s leaders, including the American President. The only man who can protect the President is Secret Service Agent Mike Banning, and the two men travel around London fighting countless waves of terrorist bad guys. The plot is incredibly unrealistic and silly, but serves to create many over-the-top fantastical action sequences.
Olympus wasn’t a movie that I thought needed a sequel, and London isn’t a movie that needs to be seen, but it’s a movie that can be enjoyed if you’re bored on a summer afternoon.
Gerard Butler does a decent job in the lead role, but has to play a very cliché character with no great lines. Aaron Eckhart plays a boring and wooden prime minister, and Morgan Freeman’s role solely involves sitting in a chair and speaking in a monotone voice. However, because the action takes the spotlight, none of these strange decisions are bothersome. It never became mind numbing or boring, and despite a complete lack of emotional investment, I was having fun watching it.
Even though the movie is technically a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen, this really doesn’t matter as the prequel is never referred to at all. Olympus wasn’t a movie that I thought needed a sequel and London isn’t a movie that needs to be seen, but it’s a movie that can be enjoyed if you’re bored on a summer afternoon and want to relax and watch some mindless action for an hour and a half.
Overall, the movie lacks sophistication and elegance, but it makes up for it in gleeful brutality. Be prepared going into this film that there will be many plot holes and countless clichés, and by no means is the movie well made. This is just a good cure for boredom. It isn’t a movie for everyone, but hopefully you will know what you’re getting into if you decide you want to watch it.