July 12, 2024

London has Fallen: A void, avoid!

Charlie Chan Says: Revengeful terrorist unleashes wrath
Against world leaders in London bloodbath

“What the hell do they make you out of?” says the breathless Leader of the Free World President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) to his beefcake bodyguard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) whose backward jogging speed would give Usain Bolt a run for his Virgin Money. “Bourbon and poor choices.” A calorific concoction which given the volume of lame one-liners, hackneyed clichés and threadbare plotlines must have formed the diet of the screenwriting quartet behind this disappointing sequel to Olympus Has Fallen in which London Bridge is as the old nursery rhyme forewarned Falling Down. Though so too are the standards of A-listers such as Morgan Freeman whose limited involvement must be down to some community service order or an imminent divorce settlement for the quality of the material is poor and the execution distinctly B-movie. B-minus movie!

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Following the accidental murder of his daughter during a UN-sanctioned drone strike in Pakistan, arms dealer, terrorist and #6 on the FBI’s Most Wanted list Aamir Barkawi (Alon Moni Aboutboul) seeks revenge of a “profound and absolute” nature. Namely, the death of as many leaders of the Western World as possible. In particular, the President of the United States. Having dispatched of the British Prime Minister by means of poison (no pigs were harmed), Aamir, his son Kamran (Waleed Zuaiter) and their wheelchair-bound IT whizzkid Sultan Mansoor (Mehdi Dehbi) take aim at the great and the good who descend upon London to pay their respects at a state funeral. Five of whom fall to rapid gunfire and scattergun clichés including a frumpy Fräulein, a lecherous Italian and an obstreperous Frenchman. Next up, squeaky clean Uncle Sam.

Once the joy of watching famous landmarks such as Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace being blown up wears off, tedium sets in and festers. The ending is predictable; the manner of execution lacks ingenuity and is stuck in a loop of stab, shoot and run (in “comfortable shoes”); the set-pieces belie the $100m budget; the effects are far from special and more akin to computer graphics; the performances lack spark; and the writing – or lack thereof – is quite frankly embarrassing. I give you: “Why don’t you guys pack up your shit and go back to Fuck-head-istan?”, “Things are going to get sporty, just watch your balls.” and “Shit! Does this fucker ever die?” The answer, unfortunately, is no. A void, avoid!

Verdict: 2/5

by Peter Callaghan

Director: Babak Najafi

Release: 3 Mar 2016 Rating: 15 Running Time: 98 mins

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