Updated on November 11, 2016
London Has Fallen (2016), an overall good action movie with unrealistic settings
If I want to make a list of the most exciting movie trailers of the year, London has Fallen would definitely be one of them. In fact, it’s trailer is so breathtakingly action-packed that I decided to go for it immediately after it’s out, without consulting to IMDB or Rotten Tomato or Entertainment Weekly, which is quite rare for me.
The plot is straight-forwardly exciting: At state funeral for the British Prime Minister in London, leaders from other nations were murdered in various terror attacks while US president (Aaron Eckhart) narrowly escapes with his head of security Mike Banning (Gerard Butler)…
As a sequel of Olympus Has Fallen (2013), which talks about a similar story set in Washington, which I forwent due to the lack of explosions in its trailer (at least not as many as London has Fallen), and as an Hollywood action movie, it’s not hard for one to forecast its ending: Freedom prevailed, US president safe, bad guy dead. Anyway, for an action movie, people are supposed to be thrilled for two hours, and then go home light-heartedly.
Now, let’s come to the movie itself. There’s no doubt London has Fallen definitely lived up to its trailer, as the number of explosions, the length of car chase and the amount of bullets fired should be enough to satisfy the thrill-seeking audiences. Also the pace is good, as the mood of the movie has been tense throughout, with no obvious lagging. To pitch itself above the no-brainer class, we observe this who-is-the-undercover game going till the end of the movie. Also, the director used five luxurious at the beginning to depict the family side of our protagonist security guy Mike Banning.
I shall stop at the merits, as what mentioned above should be sufficient to justify watching London has Fallen, if its trailer alone isn’t enough. As I said before, the movie’s successful in just keeping the audiences entertained for two hours. Usually one don’t expect more from an action movie.
But London has Fallen did have its problems, problems that for some people big enough to overshadow its merits. Against the backdrop of ISIS’s lone wolf attacks around the world, and also judged by the rather limited trailer, one would expect no more than a carful of terrorists hunting US president. Yes, there’s multiple explosions even in the trailer, so maybe this handful of bandits planted bombs all around London, and detonated them one by one. But the movie showed us something else, of all but a command room of London police being covert enemy agents, who stacked RPG every other block, who had trucks of soldiers hiding in downtown London ready to go anywhere. All these are orchestrated by one Taliban leader over the course of two years. I wonder if the bad guys were really this powerful, why don’t they just drop an atomic bomb over London and end this all? For this, it seems London has Fallen is more a video game where the enemy are infinitely spawned, than an action movie to make people marvel.
Apart from the unrealistically resourceful bad guys which bribed all London law enforcement, the immortality of our protagonists definitely wouldn’t escape one’s notice. Yes, they drove through hail of bullets unharmed while their driver didn’t, they survived helicopter crash while the office lady next to them didn’t. I know for that number of explosion, somebody must die, it’s just unnatural they don’t get to be that “somebody”. However, as an action movie, this doesn’t hurt that much as the audiences would know that, in order to have a third sequel, both protagonists need to survive.
To conclude, London has Fallen is a good action-packed movie, well entraining, worthy of two hours, with some drawbacks though.
By the way, dear director, as a plane enthusiast, a Boeing 747 has 4 engines. And when you Photoshoped 2 more, make sure they look realistic.