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Best on-screen London destruction


This week sees the release of London Has Fallen, sequel to big budget Olympus Has Fallen which this time brings the anarchy to Blighty.

Which got us thinking - while it might not suffer quite like New York, a metropolis which seemingly can’t go a few weeks without some Marvel-related menace from smashing it to bits, London isn't exactly exempt from big screen destruction itself.

For proof, here are some of the best fictional examples of our fair capital being well and truly obliterated.

London Has Fallen is out in cinemas from 3 March



The single saving grace of this high-concept British thriller (starring one Robert Carlyle for his sins) comes when showing us precisely just what aquatic hell would unfold should a monumental storm ever cause the Thames Barrier to overflow – namely, whopping great waves, which engulf everything from The Gherkin to the 02 Arena. Aptly, the film proved just as much a washout when it came to DVD sales.


V For Vendetta

A plot to blow up Parliament via a bomb-strapped underground train sound familiar? If so, that’s because the Sherlock plot was first seen in this 2006 dystopian thriller based on the Alan Moore graphic novel of the same name. The action sees Hugo Weaving’s anarchist causing fiery chaos at the heart of Britain’s totalitarian government, all to the tune of 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. We definitely didn't have to Google that.


Children Of Men

Heavily abetted by director Alfonso Cuarón’s (now trademark) tracking shot, this powerful opening shocked many with an unexpected terrorist attack on a London café in 2027, where the human race can no longer conceive. Providing shorthand for the bedlam which ensues following the phenomenon, the wreckage lingers long in the memory.


GI Joe: Retaliation

GI Joe: Retaliation is a forgettable film. Save, of course, for the part where central London gets evaporated by a nuclear missile after the villainous Zartan wants to flex his muscles. See, you’ve forgotten already haven’t you? Either way, the money shot sees the bomb toppling Parliament, Big Ben and The London Eye before sending a seismic ground wave towards the West End for good measure.


Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

Say what you will about the cost of riding it, there’s no denying that cinema has profited from the London Eye’s existence. Case in point: Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer - yes, you know, that sequel to the other Marvel film starring Chris Evans as a superhero - which sees the inimitably-limbed quartet stop the attraction from falling into The Thames when it’s magnetised by the Silver Surfer’s cosmic energy. Makes you wonder about the Westminster council clean-up operation, though.


Thor: The Dark World

This blockbuster sequel saw The Dark World invading another dark world - well, an overcast one (Greenwich) at the very least. And if you thought Thor looked out of place in Manhattan, try watching the hammer-lugging hero trading blows with alien forces next to the battered wreckage of a battered black cab and a luminous Vauxhall police car.



Ever since Pierce Bronson decided to exit Mi6 HQ in a stealth speedboat, the not-exactly-covert building has become a tangible part of James Bond’s World. This point was made devastatingly clear in Skyfall, when Javier Bardem’s cyber terrorist destroyed much of the building remotely, leaving Dame Judi Dench’s M stood on Vauxhall Bridge watching her post-it notes float down into The Thames.


The Core

When the Earth’s core stops rotating, it means that unless a band of crack team engineers can drill into its creamy centre and get it going again, civilisation is in big trouble. In the meantime, however, the biggest threat is posed by flocks of real-life Angry Birds sent wobbly from the shift in the earth’s magnetics – and where more dangerous than London’s pigeon-hub Trafalgar Square?


Images: AllStar, Rex



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