Review: London Has Fallen, C-
Rated R, 99 minutes
There are some movies that have no pretense of being great or award-winning, with their purpose being simply to provide escapist, mindless popcorn entertainment. The new action thriller "London Has Fallen" and sequel to the 2013 action hit "Olympus Has Fallen" is one of those movies. Violent, jingoistic and terribly unoriginal, it's guilty-pleasure entertainment that'll have you rooting for the good guys. After the death of the British prime minister, the world's most powerful leaders gather in London to pay their respects. Without warning, terrorists unleash a devastating attack that leaves the city in chaos and ruins. Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) springs into action to bring U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) to safety. When Asher falls into the hands of the sinister organization, it's up to Banning to save the President from a horrible fate. Directed by Babak Najafi and starring Butler in fine good-guy form here, "London Has Fallen" is the same John McLane-style mix of action and violence that made "Olympus Has Fallen" a hit a few years ago; there are zero surprises but it moves along at a rapid pace that'll make you forget the story's implausibilities and unsurprising plot twists. Butler, who also co-produced the big-budget sequel, grounds the film in a part that Schwarzenegger or Willis would've done back in their heyday, along with an all-star cast including Eckart as the gun-toting President, now Vice-President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), Secret Service Director Jacobs (Angela Bassett), along with familiar faces Jackie Earle Haley, Radha Mitchell, Melissa Leo and Robert Forster. There's a load of gratuitous violence and blood too, and if that sorta thing bothers you, then "London Has Fallen" may not be for you, but otherwise you'll have fun seeing these characters traipse across the war-torn streets of London. "London Has Fallen" is the sort of violent action fantasy that's good in the moment, but not so good in the long-term. You can also expect another sequel, but what city will terrorists strike next? Los Angeles? Rome? Paris? Don't worry about that, just sit back and enjoy the entertainingly mindless action fantasy "London Has Fallen."