Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
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London Has Fallen has been released in the UK and our Lead Film Critic Jordan Samuel brings us the official ComiConverse review of this action sequel.
Olympus Has Fallen surprised many in 2013. It was an unabashedly fun, dumb 90’s-style action film, but does it really need a sequel?
March is already packed for movie-goers. Will London Has Fallen find favor with audiences?
People are not looking for another Gerard Butler flop after the dreadful Gods of Eygpt, and Lionsgate Films is probably concerned about the box office prospects of their latest offering.
But the biggest question is does London Has Fallen deliver?
In short, many will be disappointed.
After the British Prime Minister has passed away under mysterious circumstances, all leaders of the Western world must attend his funeral. But what starts out as the most protected event on earth, turns into a deadly plot to kill the world’s most powerful leaders and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. The President of the United States, his formidable secret service head and an English MI-6 agent who trusts no one are the only people that have any hope of stopping it. – IMBD
Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman and Angela Bassett
I really enjoyed Olympus and was interested in the sequel, which has been delayed numerous times. However, Gerard Butler kicking ass for two hours can only work so many times, and London shows that once is enough.
Swedish director Babak Najafi provides a varied result in this sequel. Action sequences are decent, especially the final fight — the most memorable part of the film — but the majority are, unfortunately, littered with bad CGI.
Antoine Fuqua created some amazing shots in Olympus, a film which only had a $70 million budget. Strangely, London, which has a higher budget, has dated-looking CGI which detracts from the experience. Najafi is not a poor director, but he does feel wasted here, because many scenes do make use of his talents.
Beyond the aesthetics of the film, the dialogue comes into play, which is perhaps the worst part of London Has Fallen. Gerald Butler sticks out with his dodgy American accent. Everyone else feels wooden and uninterested, which is mainly down to the script, which never develops the secondary characters.
Gerard Butler as Mike Banning is a generic hero who saves the day, and, though he is the protagonist, is also never adequately developed. Butler is decent in the role, but he could have been recast and it would have made little difference to the film.
Banning does have some heart which separates him from the other characters, but there is no evidence that he has developed since Olympus. It makes that whole film feel almost unnecessary, which does not help the film make an impact.
Aaron Eckhart returns as the President Benjamin Asher, and is the savior of the piece due to his confident portrayal. I loved him in Olympus and he remained the best part of London. Eckhart feels like he is just fun, which was a needed element in this mostly dire story.
Would I suggest Aaron Eckhart for an Olympus/London spin-off? No. I fear Hollywood would only screw it up.
Morgan Freeman is also back as Vice President, Allan Trumbull. Freeman is a force here. Like Eckhart, he allows the movie to feel fun. His performance reminds me of Lucy where he seemed so at ease, almost like he was just having a laugh with the cast. Hi London performance is not Oscar worthy, but it is certainly one of the best elements of the film.
Freeman could drive this movie, and maybe transcend the poor script and iffy directing. But this possibility is sidelined by a location change to London that feels half-baked.
The beautiful Angela Bassett returns as Lynne Jacobs, who also feels just as underdeveloped in the sequel as she was in the first. I love Bassett, and it pains me too see her subjected to playing such an uninteresting character, to the point that it took me out of the film. Her character could have been so much more in this sequel, but instead felt misplaced and disappointing, which summarizes the entire film.
London Has Fallen is a bad sequel, and will likely be on many worst of 2016 lists. It has nothing new to offer and showcases why every movie does not need a sequel. If you are tempted to see London in theaters, do yourself a favor and just rent Olympus on Blu-Ray and think of what might have been.
Jordan Samuel is the Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter @JordanESamuel
London Has Fallen is not worth the price of admission, and shows why some movies don’t need a sequel.