I’m not a huge fan of films set in London, probably because it’s where I’ve lived all my life. I usually feel like the city isn’t shown in a realistic way (I’m looking at you SPECTRE), which for me is immediately off-putting. Having said that, London Has Fallen is something I don’t get to see very often – an old-fashioned action film that’s made shamelessly for adults, with solid violence and plenty of swearing. On top of that, Gerard Butler is the perfect man to lead this kind of film, and despite the fact that this is clearly a cash grab, I was pretty excited about it.

When the English Prime Minister dies suddenly, all of the major world leaders gather in London for his funeral. Unsurprisingly, a group of terrorists see this as a chance to assassinate as many of them as possible, and get revenge of the western world.

London Has Fallen Review
Skyfall, this is how you make an underground action scene

The best thing about this film is that it knows exactly what it is. Yes, it’s stupid, and yes it’s the script is ridiculous, but it’s just so much fun. It starts slow, but when the film gets to London, it really picks up. Some of the effects are a little bit dodgy, particularly the wide shots of explosions during the first action sequence, but when it gets down to just Gerard Butler with a gun, it’s excellent, and he’s excellent. The final scene in particular is fantastically well made, and I would like to mention the direction of Babak Najafi, a director I’ve never encountered before.

One place this film falls down is that it doesn’t have a particularly good message. Well, the message of working together as a global unit isn’t bad, but the way it’s handled is a little heavy-handed, and even a little bit jingoistic.