London Has Fallen

Iranian filmmaker Babak Najafi has already made a name for himself stepping in for the second installment of the international urban thriller series Easy Money.

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click to enlarge Gerard Butler in 'London Has Fallen'
Gerard Butler in 'London Has Fallen'

Iranian filmmaker Babak Najafi has already made a name for himself stepping in for the second installment of the international urban thriller series Easy Money, so it shouldn’t surprise those in the know that he jumped at the chance to enter the Hollywood action ring with London Has Fallen, taking over for Antoine Fuqua, who departed after Olympus Has Fallen. Gerard Butler returns as the designated go-to Secret Service agent protecting the president (Aaron Eckhart), this time traveling to England to attend the funeral of the British Prime Minister during a perfectly timed terrorist strike that takes out several key world leaders. As in the first iteration, the agent and the commander-in-chief form an unlikely tag team in a couple of tight situations that allow them to upset the balance of power. Thanks to the serviceable execution in the frames and what passes for a narrative, there’s never any doubt about the outcome here, which harkens back to the inevitability of when Chuck Norris played second fiddle behind Stallone and Schwarzenegger. Hollywood seems to be holding its breath to see if Butler might prove to be a worthy successor to Liam Neeson or if he’ll fall to the wayside and become a Texas Ranger down the road. (Opens wide Friday) (PG-13) Grade: D+

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