Back in President Asher's (Aaron Eckhart; The Dark Knight) good graces, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler; 300) is ready to resign his post in anticipation of the birth of his first child. That plan is put on hold when England's Prime Minister dies and suddenly world leaders are heading to London to attend his funeral. As bombs start exploding and people are being assassinated, Banning suddenly realizes it was a set up and he must keep President Asher safe from whatever, or whoever, is trying to kill him.
Reprising his role as Banning, Butler was a strong casting choice in the first film, and he continues his tough guy, "take no prisoners" persona in this one as well. He was much better suited to this role than his other character out now, Set, from Gods of Egypt.
Eckhart is destined to play politicians as he first came on my radar as Harvey Dent. Now, as the President, he plays an active role in his own rescue, as opposed to being a spectator at a sporting event. His demeanor serves him well in London and he is certainly believable as the leader of the free world. Angela Bassett (American Horror Story) and Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) are excellent as always and round out a solid cast.
The story is much of the same action that was seen in Olympus Has Fallen, except it is a little grittier and bloodier than its predecessor. The special effects are fairly well done and the action doesn't drag on for too long (a pet peeve of mine). The script includes moments of humor that lighten an otherwise fairly intense movie and make the film all the more entertaining. Sadly, the story is over the top politically incorrect as the bad guys are portrayed as the epitome of the stereotypical terrorist.
As with most action films, there are times when one has to suspend belief in order to not groan at the ridiculousness of it all. When Banning and President Asher fall two stories through an elevator shaft and emerge unscathed, it doesn't exactly give the movie an air of realism. Also, when they survive, along with the building, from a gas explosion, you know you are watching movie magic at its finest.
With so much of today's action films lacking any sense of story or dialog, London Has Fallen doesn't fall into the trap. Yes, there is plenty of action, but there is also a story motivating the movie along, albeit not an original story, and moments of solid writing to keep viewers from getting bored. Fans of Olympus Has Fallen will definitely want to see this sequel.