London Has Fallen Is The Worst Film About Our City Ever

London Has Fallen, in cinemas (and yes, this rating means zero stars) ☆☆☆☆☆

By Stuart Black Last edited 7 months ago

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London Has Fallen Is The Worst Film About Our City Ever London Has Fallen, in cinemas (and yes, this rating means zero stars) 0

You know an action film is in trouble when, right from the start, you’re rooting for the terrorists.

But hold on. Before we get into everything wrong with this mega mess of a movie, we should point out that lead actor Gerard Butler has no one to blame but himself for the drubbing we feel obliged to dish out. This unflushable turd of a film, the follow-up to 2013’s so-so guilty pleasure Olympus Has Fallen, was squeezed out by his own production company, so the buck and the shame is all his.

So let’s start with Butler then. He plays Mike Banning, a presidential bodyguard who’s apparently made of pastrami (beefy yet hammy at the same time). He talks out the side of his mouth like an angry New York cabby and has a line in lame and often illogical quips which would make Arnold Schwarzenegger baulk.

We meet Banning jogging backwards through a park in Washington DC (though clearly this is shot in Hyde Park). He’s merely obnoxious at this point and yet to reveal himself as the sadistic racist he becomes later on when the chips are down. Banning is a variation on Die Hard’s John McClane, though without any of the subtlety, charm or chutzpah. He is extremely dislikeable even before he starts casually torturing unarmed men by stabbing them anywhere and everywhere in a psychopathic frenzy.

Butler plays Mike Banning, a presidential bodyguard who’s apparently made of pastrami (beefy yet hammy at the same time).

The film doesn’t acknowledge the fact that Banning is a mad dog; he’s not presented as a necessary evil who exists for the West’s protection. He’s actually a doting family man who simply enjoys a bit of the wet stuff when he gets the chance to indulge in it, a right-winger with a hard-on for hurting people who represents the viewpoint that "terrorist assholes from Fuckheadistan" are beyond the Geneva Convention and about as human as dog meat.

The filmmakers (erm, Butler) might try to argue that Banning is just a fantasy figure for these troubled times we live in; but it’s exactly the latter part of that idea that gives us the shivers. London Has Fallen is set in a world where the Paris attacks have happened and Isis do behead innocent people on social media. And so rather than being a silly, cathartic action cartoon, the film posits Banning’s truly repellent code of behaviour as a reasonable approach to dealing with global terror. It’s gross and regularly borders on incitement to racial hatred.

Oh, and excuse us for not bothering with the plot until now; but we’re only following the lead of the writers, who barely bothered at all (and we do seriously wonder whether Donald Trump wasn’t part of the writing team). Here we go then: a drone strike takes out the family of a Middle Eastern arms dealer, who then takes revenge by knocking off the Prime Minister of 'Grade Bridden' so he can lure all the world leaders to London for a state funeral so he can then blow them all to smithereens, even though he’s really only interested in Aaron Eckhart’s feckless and frankly idiotic President Asher.

Falling, falling... fallen.

The way this is set-up in the first 20 minutes aspires to be like something in The Godfather though it’s much closer to Team America. We see several heads of state gathering in London: the buck-toothed German chancellor at the gates of Buckingham Palace; the louche French leader quaffing Champagne on his yacht in the Thames so he can be fashionably late (for a funeral); the horny Italian premier perched atop Westminster Abbey fondling his perky young mistress. They are all then obliterated in a sequence that a shocked TV newsman describes, with beautiful bathos, as "an attack that has decimated most of the known landmarks in the British capital."

These money shots of the capital being blown apart are all over the posters and are the key selling point of the movie. The problem is that we’ve seen all this before (quite a lot actually, from Bond to GI Joe) and done with much better CGI too.

None of it is very believable and the liberties taken with the London locations don’t help much either. The film starts with fairly feasible geography as the Americans fly by chopper from Stansted to Somerset House, then take an armoured car down Fleet Street to St Paul's. So it looks like we might be in for some realism in this department at least. But then, as the bullets start flying, they tear up the map and we enter a ludicrous parallel London that features a Dubai-style telecoms tower and tall, thin blocks of flats (so a chopper can dodge missiles more easily) which look like they’d be much more at home in Hong Kong.

Later on, Moorgate tube station is re-labelled Charing Cross for no good reason and then, the final insult, a dying terrorist has the location of the kidnapped President stabbed out of him thusly: "Where is he?" "Broadwick and Lexington, gah." Excuse us, where?

This film is a horrifying carnival of vulgarity from start to finish.

Unless we aren’t being clear: this film is a horrifying carnival of vulgarity from start to finish though it is probably worth seeing simply to witness the constant new lows it manages to sink to. Here are a few choice exchanges if you are still unsure:

The President jumps out of a cupboard and shoots a terrorist in the head, saving Banning in the process. Banning: "I was wondering when you were gonna come out of the closet." (Meaning what?)

Terrorist to Banning: "Fuck You" Banning to terrorist: "Fuck Me?" Banning drives terrorist into a wall and seemingly decapitates him. Banning to terrorist’s head: “Fuck you.” (Dialogue for the ages.)

President goes green watching a terrorist choke to death. President: "I've never seen a man suffocate before." Banning: "I didn't have a knife." (Pure nonsense.)

But perhaps the single weirdest bit in this long, boring and badly made film comes during a scene which seems to have been added in the hope of finding a soft drink company willing to do a bit of product placement. Butler brings in two glasses of water saying: "I'm thirsty as fuck!" before downing the lip-smacking, thirst-quenching liquid that clearly isn’t Pepsi or Coke or even Irn-Bru.

Who is this film for? The penultimate lines give that secret away as a news report reveals the name of the one man who just might be able to rebuild the smoking ruins of the pulverised capital: Prime Minister Clarkson. So at least, Jeremy will be happy.

London has Fallen is unfunny, exploitative torture/terror porn and a serious contender for worst film of all time.

Last Updated 18 October 2017


You'd recommend going to see it then?

Captain Kickarse

You clearly haven't seen many films if this is "the worst of all time".

The film isn't "long" at 99 minutes and besides, when the convoy comes out of Somerset House, they turn left, going towards Strand, rather than merging right to hook around Aldwych to go towards St Paul's Cathedral... At least get your 'positives' correct.

But yes, a sh*t film. As with any UK or American London-based film, the map always gets torn up and this is no different.

Worst review ever.

Guy Hatton

Broadwick and Lexington? So they're holding the President hostage in Pret?

Titsy Malone

Wow I gotta see this now


The President is in the John Snow pub? Named after the Dr who traced the cholera outbreak (not the character in Game of Thrones), they serve good Yorkshire beers.

Tube Geek

This film is rubbish because London burns. I could NOT bear that!

Fashion and Frappes

I was definitely not seeing this movie and didn't need a review to tell me that but glad I read this.

MaryAnn Johanson
like an angry New York cabby

Except New York cabbies these days are all Pakistani, so Banning would shoot them, not imitate them.

Jon Millwood

Saw the trailer and the CGI fire is the worst I have seen, not going to bother with the film based on how poor the trailer looked


Im sold.

Kieran Messer

I bet Cool Cat Saves The Kids is still worse.


I'm not clear, did you like the film or not? Blimey these on the one hand, on the other hand film reviews.

Fred Foot

I've never seen so many Vauxhall Vectras written off in a short space of time. That's my lingering memory from this fart smell of a film. Appalling.


you are all liberals and only hate it because he kills the terrorists instead of just knocking them out like in every other movie and yes it's better because he kills them if you leave em alive they'll just come back with a vengeance terrorists are like weeds pull me out from the roots and I'm not saying ALL Muslims and shit are terrorists just most of them


tell us how you really feel

Jo Hunter

This review reeks of subjective opinion desperately being passed as fact (as most film reviewers are predisposed to do), personal agenda, baseless insults, and an accusation of racism that was pulled out of a pig's ass. The only film review that's marginally worse than this was that one I read a few years ago that claimed The Dark Knight was the worst superhero movie ever and accused Christopher Nolan of ruining the Batman film legacy.

Stay away from everything with a keyboard, Stuart. You're ruining it for the rest of the film industry.


You are seemingly a horrible movie critic. If you're going to review a movie review it and keep your run of the mill political bleeding heart rhetoric out of it.


It fascinates me how America feels like it can destroy the world, and if these people retaliate then it was unexpected. What has this world come too? America needs to start behaving and stop brainwashing people into beleiving that the people it colonises are the enemy

Gurvinder cholia

Its a pile of dog shit. Not even worth watching the special effects. Saddest part is, they had an opportunity to make an epic film. Watching the fat bald guy next door washing his hair would be more entertaining.


I highly recommend this movie. If you're so lame that you can't stand up to bad guys, maybe this isn't your movie. It is a non-stop roller coaster ride action movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat. While reading this review I thought maybe the writer was discussing a Bond film. It certainly wasn't THIS movie. Maybe we enjoyed this movie because we're Americans. We own guns and know how to use them. I cannot imagine living in a country under attack and having no guns to fight back with. There is always a bad guy out there. This one is real. Could it be that this movie was intended to wake the UK up and get the status quo to fight the moratorium on guns? I hope so. Everyone should have a right to defend themselves and their families. I was kind of hoping Prime Minister Clarkson's first name would be "Jeremy". Lol.


The only appalling thing about this film is that they were obviously forced to stick some white non-muslims amongst the terrorists so that the actual terrorists (muslims) weren't too offended.

Since when did we give a fuck about offending the enemy!? The muslims! They're the terrorists. mUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS.

Boo hoo to all the brainwashed snowflake libtards.

The Londonistanist is obviously comprised of social justice warrior idiots who are all probably hiding in their safe spaces after seeing this film.

Fuck you The Londonistanist! Fuck you!

muslims are terrorist, child raping, woman abusing terrorists!


you insult a film by suggesting trump was involved and insult a character by calling him a right winger. thats very biggoted


Well done for figuring out that 'action' films are ridiculous... but your diatribe against this one in particular is way more "gross" than the film itself.

"terrorist assholes from Fuckheadistan" ARE "beyond the Geneva Convention and about as human as dog meat."
No surprise you were "rooting for the terrorists right from the start". You are a terrorist. Against the whole concept of liberalism. Something which depends on the protection you so casually disregard.
"regularly borders on incitement to racial hatred" ???
Racial hatred from the character whose child's godmother is black?

When you repulsive regressives finally get your way and London IS turned into a war zone by "terrorist assholes from Fuckheadistan", how you'll welcome the "psychopathic frenzy" of the likes of 'Mike Banning'. And in that situation, if you don't manage to locate your own wholly reasonable "psycopathic frenzy" against said 'Fuckheadistan' terrorist assholes, you'll be dead.