The stakes are set high right from the moment London Has Fallen begins. Most of the world’s biggest leaders have been murdered in a mass assassination having gathered in London to mourn the sudden death of the British prime minister. Only the US president Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) who, thanks to Secret Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), arrived earlier than scheduled, survived, but their sophisticated enemies are hot at their heels.
Any escape plans are further complicated by a mole within the British Secret Service, and they must depend on the ever calm Vice President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) to upset the terrorists’ plans.
It’s 99 minutes of gripping action coupled with some breathtaking sequences of London’s most iconic sights being blown to smithereens. The pacing is perfectly-timed to keep your fists clenched throughout, with only a slight breathing space in between when Banning takes a sip of water and discusses parenting with Asher. Butler and Eckhart pull off a charming dynamic that results from their characters’ multi-layered relationships: they are the protector and the protected, the employee and the boss, but most of all they are two friends with absolute trust and loyalty.
Beyond the action and patriotism, the movie has a nonchalant message: avenging violence with violence only results in even more bloodshed.