London Has Fallen, film review: Daft thriller batters the senses - and all sense

 (15) Babak Najafi, 99 mins. Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman

Geoffrey Macnab@TheIndyFilm
Friday 04 March 2016 00:50
Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart going underground in the silly action movie ‘London Has Fallen’
Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart going underground in the silly action movie ‘London Has Fallen’

This enjoyably atrocious action thriller is so inept in parts that you think it must be a spoof. World leaders turn up in London for the funeral of the British Prime Minister, who has died in suspicious circumstances. No sooner have they arrived than the explosions and bloodletting begins.

London Has Fallen Clip - Bourbon And Poor Choices

The director Babak Najafi is on a wrecking spree, taking an infantile pleasure in using CGI to destroy every London landmark available. Terrorists have somehow infiltrated the army, the police and the Queen's Guards.

Rugged US Secret Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) looks a little irritated throughout. His wife is about to give birth as he is plucked away from the nursery, where he has been using his espionage skills to install surveillance baby-cams. Instead of changing nappies, he has to protect his old friend, US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), the terrorists' main target.

These terrorists aren't driven by ideology or religion. A US-operated drone blew up the daughter of arms dealer Aamir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul) – and now he wants revenge.

The film quickly turns into a glorified version of a Call of Duty-like video game. London is the battleground as Banning shoots terrorists. In Washington, Vice-President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) does his best to look concerned.

To its credit, the film is at least partly tongue-in-cheek. It is also energetic enough for us not to notice that there are as many holes in its screenplay as the terrorists leave in London's best-loved buildings.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments