Back in 2013 Gerard Butler’s Olympus Has Fallen went head to head with Channing Tatum’s similar themed -White -House -in -trouble White House Down. Now Butler is back in the sequel London Has Fallen.
After the death of the British Prime Minister, the US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) comes to London to attend his funeral. However when a terrorist attack threatens the lives of the world leaders it’s up to Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) to get the President safely out of London.
I must confess I haven’t seen Olympus Has Fallen. But I doubt it was essential in watching this sequel. London Has Fallen won’t text your brain power but it will happily numb it for an hour and a half. So relax and stop wondering why the supposedly bullet proof car only protects Banning and his friends but not the black driver or how Gerard Butler can survive as helicopter crash without even having as little as his seatbelt on. The film would probably hope you forget its clichéd baddies too that some may find offensive as well as hammy.
The film is often funny but mostly unintentionally so whether it’s Gerard Butler’s wondering American accent (which is practically non existent when Banning interacts with a Scottish SAS officer) or the over the top action. Still it kept me entertained throughout.
Many of the actors such as Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and Charlotte Riley are a bit wasted while Charlotte Riley makes an impression as an MI6 officer but is also underdeveloped. The film would have you believe that world security is so rubbish apart from Gerard Butler. I was half expecting a revaluation that Banning was some kind of immortal ninja considering the amount if times he escaped certain death. Sometimes I found Banning really irritating and smug. He was also a bit too gleeful when stabbing terrorists in the eye considering he’s meant to be the hero.
This won’t be winning any awards or be the top of anyone’s action movies but go with a few friends (and maybe a few drinks) and you may find it enjoyable enough.
Rating 3/5 – fun if forgettable actioner
With the sequel to 300 having just come to the big screen I decided to catch the original when it was on tv recently. But can I handle all the manliness and shouting for 117 minutes?
The King of Sparta Leonidas (Gerard Butler) refuses to submit to God-King Xerxes causing problems between the Persians and the Spartans. Denied by the Ephors to take his army to war Leonidas takes 300 of his men to fight against Xerxes army of thousands.
The opening part of the film describes how Spartans take new-born baby boys and throw away the ones who are weak, disabled or just not worthy. Then the ones who are deemed strong are made to fend for themselves in the wild when they are ten and if they come back they are good enough to be Spartans. Baby killing in your opening minutes? I must admit that didn’t really make me warm to our heroes.
But the thing with 300 is that everything is very, very silly and over the top. And overly macho in a homo-erotic way. It’s also very enjoyable. You can enjoy the story even while you question the plausibility of everything on-screen. Take their battle suits for example. I know the Spartans are probably so bad-ass they don’t need things like clothes but is a jock-strap and a cape really the best amour for battle (just look at The Incredibles to show why capes are not a good idea to fight in).
The green screen did bothered me, becuase it was so obvious that the backgrounds looked so fake, although I guess the overall look did create a comic book feel to it. And while sometimes director Zack Synder sways towards style over substance, the style can be pretty impressive at times.
I’m not sure why Gerard Butler made the acting choice TO SHOUT. EVERY. OTHER. LINE. But I have to say he brings a strong presence to the role, you could see why these men would follow him into a hopeless situation. The rest of his men fade into one another, although it was amusing to spot a pre-fame Michael Fassbender among the soldiers.
Female characters are scarce in this film but at least they are well presented by Lena Headey as Leondias’ wife Queen Gorgo who shows that Spartan women are every bit as strong as their men-and you really don’t want want to see her angry.
I don’t know if the sequel can possibly live up to this gory, unintentionally hilarious fantasy/action movie but it’s easy to see why people are such fans of the original.
Rating – 3/5 a fun mindless way to spend a couple of hours, so go ahead and submit to Sparta