England’s Prime Minister has died unexpectedly and leaders of every major country are coming to London for the funeral. Security is at an all-time high and the entire force of first responders are deployed. Mike Banning, head of the President’s Secret Service detail is worried that they’ve had no time to plan for the trip. His fears are realized when terrorists begin picking off the leaders one by one. The President is attacked but manages to escape to temporary safety. What follows is a game of cat and mouse as Banning tries to keep him safe from capture and public execution.
2016, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 38 mins
DTS:X (Master Audio 7.1), 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
Directed by Babak Najafi
This film reminded me of the poorly written action flicks that seemed to appear almost monthly in the 1980s. The plot, what there is of it, is formulaic from beginning to end. If you’re looking for great car chases, stunts, fight scenes and the destruction of several prominent London landmarks, then this is the movie for you. When I first received my copy, I expected something along the lines of 24. The violence is certainly on par with that excellent show but there are none of the intriguing plot twists one sees in Kiefer Sutherland’s version. Instead we’re treated to Gerard Butler doing an extremely poor job of delivering bad dialog laced with f-bombs. I rarely have a problem with profanity in films but there was nothing creative going on here. My personal favorite was when Butler described his level of thirst using, you guessed it, an f-bomb. Jeez.
And a note to the film-makers: If you want a believable hero, he needs to get hurt once in a while. Our main guy literally walks into a hail of bullets, his comrades dropping like flies around him, while he isn’t even grazed. Does this movie have a bright spot? Morgan Freeman as the Vice-President. While I was surprised to see an actor of his caliber here, he at least lends some class and talent while the rest of the cast phone it in. For those seeking mindless diversionary violence, London Has Fallen is worth a rental but it’s 90 minutes of your life you won’t get back.
The image was created on a Red Epic Dragon digital camera. While it can capture at 6K resolution, the digital intermediate is 2K so it’s unlikely to benefit from an upconversion to Ultra HD should the film be released in that format. That being said, picture detail, contrast and color are all reference-quality. I saw no issues or artifacts at any time.
The DTS:X encode is rich and robust during action scenes which have tremendous dynamic range and bass slam. Even without height channels, the surround envelope was large and palpable. My one-star deduction concerns the dialog which lacks definition at times and sounds a little smeared. Even when actors are speaking clearly, they aren’t always easy to understand and the center channel volume level seems a bit low. I enjoyed the full orchestra playing in the background just like classic movies of old.
Two making-of featurettes are included. One is a 13-minute general look behind the scenes and the other, at seven minutes, profiles the creation of various action sequences.