London Has Fallen, review: ‘Uninspired rehash of TV series 24’

London has Fallen

LHF_DAY_20_CR_0154.NEF London has Fallen - Credit: Archant

Flying a US President (Eckhart) into London for the state funeral of the British PM would always be a risky assignment.

But in London Has Fallen, the POTUS is flying into a Donald Trump foreign policy fever-dream.

This is not just a London where the police are afraid to patrol certain areas because they are dominated by Islamic militants.

This is a London where half the police force, and even some paramedics, are part of a vast plan to assassinate him.

Luckily, he is escorted by his trusted secret service guy, Mike Banning.

Unluckily, Banning is played again by Gerard Butler, the Audley Harrison of action movie tough guys.

Yes, he growls his dialogue and looks beefy in a puffed up way, but if he was the bull, my money would be on the china shop.

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In the first film of this series, Olympus Has Fallen, he was a disgraced former secret service guy, who saves the President from an attack on the White House. Like Bruce in Die Hard, he was the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Not a stretch for Butler; he must feel like that most of the time. When is he the right man in the right place at the right time?

From rom-coms, to action roles, to prancing around in scent advertisements, he always seems faintly ludicrous.

The hostile reception the President receives in London is nothing like the reception the film received at the screening I attended, where the audience were guffawing right from the off.

It’s not that bad, it is only moderately inept. Mostly it is like an uninspired re-hash of various scenes from 24.

2/5 stars.