The Reviewinator: London Has Fallen (2016)


Olympus Has Fallen was hardly a classic, but it was a moderately entertaining and happily mindless action movie with its fair share of laughs. One element of its success was that it coincided with the release of the abysmal A Good Day to Die Hard, with most fans agreeing that Olympus Has Fallen was, funnily enough, a far better Die Hard movie. I still don’t think it warranted a sequel. I mean, how many times can the same President get into explosive, life-threatening situations?

Arms dealer Aamir Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul) is supposedly killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. Two years later, the British Prime Minister dies of what at first seems like natural causes. Every world leader attends his funeral in London, including U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and his Secret Service Agent/best friend Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). Soon after they land, a citywide terrorist attack takes place, killing hundreds and sending the city into chaos. And it all points to a revenge mission led by the not-so-dead Aamir Barkawi.

You don’t go into a movie like this and expect Shakespeare. If you didn’t leave your brain at the door, then you went through the wrong door. These kinds of action movies exist for one reason: action. Any enjoyment is purely superficial. And when it does get bad (which it will), you just kind of wait for the badness to pass. Anyone with too much respect for their brain might truly hate this movie, but even they should have been smart enough to see the big pile of brains they stepped over to get in the movie in the first place.

As a sequel, this movie is about as ’90s as it can be, rehashing just about every idea from the first movie for an “SSDD” experience. The only difference this time is that Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart are together for the entire movie, which helps, since when the action starts, their chemistry seems to improve. And it’s the humorous bits that keep you entertained between ludicrous chase scenes, fight scenes, and oh so many explosions.

If you need a mindless action movie fix, London Has Fallen should provide you with 90 minutes of bullet-riddled entertainment. And if you can avoid paying to see it (like I did), all the better. It’s absolutely not great, or even good, but it’s never bad enough to be terrible. It knows what it is and makes no apologies for it. If you expect anything other than mindlessness, it’s your (brain’s) funeral.

2 out 5

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