Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Gerard Butler,Morgan Freeman
Director: Babak Najafi
Genre(s): Action, Thriller, Crime
Runtime: 99 min
Let’s recap the basics of an action film before we go too far into a review of London Has Fallen. First of all, you need explosions and lots of them. The fiery-er the better. Then you have to get some gun battles, interspersed with violence and hand to hand combat. Basically, fight scenes with the hero kicking ass in fifty different ways, once in a while taking a hit, but always defeating his opponents, who outnumber him, in almost insurmountable odds. Finally, the best part of an action movie,the thing you’ll never forget when you leave the theatre; the hero! Your quintessential Schwarzenegger,Rambo,McClane type with a foul mouth and a hard battle-worn body. A man who will never run out of witty one liners or bullets.
This movie looks to tick all the aforementioned boxes, and the director is unashamed in his search to fill his checklist. In Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett and Morgan Freeman, he has a string of established actors to deliver a worthwhile Blockbuster film, and the story being set in London, where Mike Banning(Butler) has to accompany the president of the United States to attend the funeral of the British Prime minister. All other world dignitaries are assassinated across London before the ceremony, and Banning has to keep the President from harm as they are chased down by the mercenaries of an arms dealer turned terrorist (Alon Abutbul) who is raging a murderous crusade against the west.
The movie begins very slowly, although the banter between Echkart and Butler’s characters is clear, and sets the tone for a lot of the humor displayed in the film. As you’d expect from an action film, most of the support cast isn’t expected to say too much, and they don’t. To be honest, not much emotion is communicated in the film, but then that’s not really the point of an action film is it?
The director, Babak Najafi, is a novice on the big stage, having only done two films in his home country of Sweden, and he couldn’t have picked a better film to put his name on a big Hollywood production. This film followed a structure that is simple and well known, and Najafi didn’t have to do too much for the movie to make money. He didn’t, and it’s doing very well at the box office, so far making 180 million dollars after a budget of 60 million. What does this teach us? A great trailer can make the most underwhelming of films look amazing, and get the audiences to hand over their hard earned money.
In summary, outside of the occasional humour at the wrong moment from Gerard Butler’s character, the script isn’t very good. The acting isn’t very good. The explosions and CGI Is very good, and so are the fight scenes and gun battles. So as an action movie, it gets a 7/10. Unfortunately as a film, it doesn’t come anywhere near that high.
By Maithya Kioko