I have no shame in saying I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Olympus Has Fallen’. A no-brainer action film for adults that had hard violence, foul language, grizzly action, a decent cast and a simple story. No superheroes or family-friendly action in sight. They don’t make them like they used to, of course, but director Antoine Fuqua certainly tried, and now Babak Najafi has a go for a similar result.

If ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ was the ‘Die Hard’ of this franchise, then ‘London Has Fallen’ is the ‘Die Hard With A Vengeance’, but not as good. Escaping the confines of the White House, the mighty city of London, England, is our battlefield now. The streets are deserted and war torn, the CGI landmarks are destroyed and battered, and everyone is probably a terrorist…apparently.

First, it’s fair to say Gerard Butler can’t really act. He’s good at what he does, but given the chance to act alone, he’s not the best. Give him a gun or a car or swear words and he’ll deliver like a trooper. At 46 he’s no spring chicken, but in this day and age he’s more than welcome to represent the older action hero to do what we pay to see them do in a film like this – deliver bad quips, dish out death like it’s on sale and generally be the bloke we all want to be whilst we play our first shooter video games. He gurns like he’s had a stroke. He hangs out of car doors with a pistol. He shoots everyone twice. He stabs. He bleeds. He jumps. He punches. He swears. A lot. He is a one-man wrecking ball who eclipses Bryan Mills with his certain set of skills.

Team him with the likeable Aaron Eckhart who never comes over as useless or inept, and you have a great on-screen partnership who work perfectly together. Foundations formed in 2013 continue here and you know just what to expect. With a supporting cast made up from the ever dependable Morgan Freeman, the lovely Angela Bassett, the new Mrs Tom Hardy Charlotte Riley and our slimy villain Alon Aboutboul, and we are in good hands with characters who we don’t need to know their whole backstory and who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty whilst having fun at the same time

The film is also surprisingly well executed – pardon the pun. We have a number of those excellent “one take” shots in the action were it takes your breath away. Storming a London street with explosions going off around you and bullets whizzing past your head as bad and good guys fall is exhilarating stuff and pulled off very well. We have our shaky cam, of course, but for a good deal of time we actually get to see the tight car chases and fight scenes play out and not lose anything with sloppy editing.

My negative points? Well, not really anything to diminish the fun of this, because it stands strong with its predecessor as a film that knows what is aims to deliver and knows the market. But for me our Middle Eastern villains never come across as menacing or dangerous as the Koreans in ‘OHF’. Of course it’s touching upon the current Syrian tension as expected, but something about them is more generic, probably because their “bad guy” actions are expected thanks to what we see in the media these days. Also, the threat doesn’t feel as great as it was in ‘OHF’; with the hostage situation, there was an underlying sense of tension, but here it’s a large cat-and-mouse game with no real threat until the finale. Saying that, Najafi hasn't made a carbon-copy of the first film; it's a fresh story in a fresh setting, so kudos to him for that.

Also, now I know this isn’t something we worry about in mainstream dumb action flicks, but the believability was a bit TOO stretched for me initially. I don’t mind how things happen, because I can just accept it. In ‘OHF’, we had the terrorists arrive by armoured plane, hidden in tourist busses and public service vehicles that could have been prepared easily to converge on a target. Here in ‘LHF’ the terrorists seem to make up 90% of the Metropolitan Police and HM Royal Guard! Suddenly police cars and ambulances are terrorist vehicles packed with machine guns and RPGs. Guards who patrol Buckingham Palace are terrorists! Bodyguards are terrorists! Armed police are terrorists! Everyone we have faith in protecting the public is a terrorist! Talk about making you worry about who to trust.

The part that bothered me was as 12 world leaders converge on London, and all the security measures taken and all those employed as special operatives and police and whatnot…how the f**k did all these terrorists get in these positions in the first place?! It just was such an easy way to launch the attack, and I felt it a little cheap compared to the brutality and clever tactics of the first. Still…I overlooked that gradually as the film went on.

So! If ‘Taken’ can string out 2 films from a sleeper-hit original and take a critical and audience panning, I have no doubt the superior ‘Fallen’ franchise has room for one, maybe two more outings. The cast are enjoying it, we as action fans are enjoying it, and it’s a refreshing change for an adult action film without superheroes to pop up and give us something to roll with after the serious, heavy tone of the Hollywood awards season of films. Leave your brain at the door and just enjoy the ride!