OK, let me explain right from the outset.

I actually sat down and watched The Downing Street Siege about a week ago, but it’s taken me this long to put my thoughts in order and type up a review.

The reason? Well, I couldn’t quite work out whether what I sat through was so-bad-it’s-good, or so-bad-it’s-bloody-awful.

And, I’m sorry to say, all things considered I’ve swayed towards the latter, as this British actioner does little to quicken the pulse.

For starters, I was thrown by the fact this is actually a sequel, a hasty follow-up to 2014 flick He Who Dares (nope, me neither).

Anyways, no worries on that score as Paul Tanter’s film takes care to eliminate any confusion by including copious (and I mean copious) flashbacks to the first instalment, filling us in on a film that concerned a goon and a series of armed lackeys kidnapping the Prime Minister’s daughter.

That all ended badly for the bad guys, but they’re at it again when chief villain Holt (Simon Phillips) is busted out of hospital, putting in motion a plan that will see his gang storm No.10 itself and this time hold the PM to ransom.

In a twist that can only happen in this type of movie, the hero from the original, Chris Lowe (Tom Benedict Knight), just happens to be in Downing Street himself, being stripped of his army rank for insubordination in the first movie.

From there it’s every Die Hard/Olympus Has Fallen/Under Siege etc cliché in the book (heck, Lowe’s even in the bog when the baddies storm No.10) as the former soldier sets about foiling their nefarious plans.

To be fair, there are some minor pleasures here –I actually enjoyed Phillips’ manic, comedy-heavy performance, seemingly hauled off the stage at a local pantomime to carry out bad guy duties.

In addition, the action certainly comes thick and fast, moving the whole thing along at a brisk pace.

That also proves a problem though, as the action sequences are very poorly put together (far too much CGI blood for starters), most notably in a series of fistfights where the actors are clearly not hitting each other.

Tanter clearly had the beer-and-curry brigade in mind here, hoping audiences will overlook Knight’s wooden antics, or lap up the totally unnecessary and pretty sleazy inclusion of a stripper who cavorts on a bus for a few minutes before being shot in the head.

Sadly, I had neither beer nor curry to hand when I watched this, and judged on its own merits this has to get a thumbs-down.

 

DVD Review: The Downing Street Siege
2.0Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.