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London Has Fallen


Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Radha Mitchell, Waleed Zuaiter, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Alon Aboutboul, Patrick Kennedy, Colin Salmon, Angela Bassett, Charlotte Riley, Alex Giannini

Director: Babak Najafi

Monumentally silly, but - predictably - not unentertaining action thriller, a follow-up to the rather better Olympus Has Fallen.

In revenge for a US strike blunder that killed his relatives, a far east master-terrorist (Aboutboul) has spent years planning his vengeance. When the British PM dies (turns out later he was poisoned), heads of government converge on London for the funeral, at which point the terrorist strikes, blowing up Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and sundry other landmarks with an army of men disguised as police officers, paramedics, SAS men and firefighters (well, we warned you it was silly).

The subsequent carnage leaves five world leaders dead, and the US president (Eckhart) on the run. 'It was a trap,' declares his aide (Bassett) with sublime perception, just before their helicopter is shot down, and the prez and his chief bodyguard Mike Banning (Butler) flee across fields.

The prez is eventually captured, to be executed live on world television, but you feel that the gruff-voiced, hard-cursing Banning, who's the present-day equivalent of the US cavalry in a western, will somehow ride to the rescue through a hail of bullets.

Told the identity of the terrorist chief, the president is appalled. 'This man,' he snaps, 'is responsible for more deaths than the plague.' Acting is definitely not required here, but there's action galore, lots of (sometimes dodgy) CGI-crafted effects as London falls, and even one or two intentional laughs. If you think you might like this, then the odds are you will.

David Quinlan

USA/Bulgaria/Romania/UK 2015. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour by Panalux.
98 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 02 Mar 2016