2 out of 10

RELEASE DATE: 12th January 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Paul Tanter (Dystopia (TV) / No Easy Days (TV) / The Disappearance of Lenka Wood / Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3 / Shame The Devil / The Hooligan Wars He Who Dares / Essex Boys Retribution / White Collar Hooligan 2 / Fall of the Essex Boys / Rise of the White Collar Hooligan / Jack Falls)

Cast: Tom Benedict Knight, Simon Phillips, Russell Kilmister, Merissa Porter, Lucy Bayler, Warwick Evans, Christina Bellavia and Ryan Winsley

Writer: Jonathan Westwood and Paul Tanter

Trailer: HE WHO DARES 2


TO BE PROOFREAD: He Who Dares 2 is only marginally less shit than the first one. There seems to be a bit more thought put into the plot this time around and its far less set-bound. The ever-expanding actor-prodcuer Simon Phillips (DANGEROUS MIND OF A HOOLIGAN) takes centre-stage as the villainous Holt (who I thought had died at the end of part one). In part two he wants to hold the Prime Minister of Great Britain (RUSSELL KILMISTER) hostage at number 10. He literally walks through the front door with a small army of stripper killing (don’t ask) mercenaries to wreak havoc. Only one man can stop him. Guess who?

Well it would’ve been more interesting if an Ed Balls or Michael Gove-type had turned all John McClane, but sadly it’s our non-hero Chris Lowe (TOM BENEDICT KNIGHT – HE WHO DARES), the renegade SAS major who rescued the Prime Minister’s daughter (CHRISTINA BELLAVIA) from Holt in part one. He’s in the process of being dishonourably discharged for leading said mission at number 10 at the very same time that Holt is laying siege to it. Bad timing cockfags! (as per Team America!)

With this being another Paul Tanter directed non-film you should know the drill by now. This is a supermarker brand localisation of Olympus Has Fallen or White House Down – better yet Die Hard Without a Clue. We have a chimpanzee for a leading man (Tom Benedict Knight really looks like a PG Tips chimp on steroids), who at least gets a look in this time when faced with Simon Phillips’ most bizarre creation yet – in a nutshell we get a plank versus a ham having badly choreographed fights on the carpet at number 10. So why’s it better than the first one? He Who Dares 2 seems to have been plotted firmly as opposed to being a string of repetitive skirmishes punctuated by Holt over-gesticulating with a water pistol. At times, I also was convinced that we were at Number 10, although there’s a scene on the roof that seems to have relocated the Prime Minister’s lair to Surbiton.  Not all of the acting was dreadful, so a diluted percentage of this made it a bit more palatable. The makers also decided to distinguish two of Holt’s goons this time around too – now we get a hot James Bond-lite villainess (MERISSA PORTER) and a football hooligan type that says ‘c*nt’ a lot played by Ryan Winsley (ESSEX BOYS RETRIBUTION). I think Porter’s kung-fu chopping bad girl is the sister of The Honeytrap from part one but it’s not clear. The fight choreography and action scenes are some of the worst seen in a Tanter/Phillips production however so they lose points by presenting these to the viewing public.

It has some moments of humour. The word ‘pleb’ is bandied about to useful effect and gets one or two members of the cast killed alongside some of the overacting by Simon Phillips (along with very lame attempts at intended humour) which raise a titter. Sadly though its business as usual as yet another slack wannabe drops off the  end of Tanter/Phillips production line. It’s lazy-ish and yet another exercise in confirming Simon Phillips lack of acting range. There’s also more of that Tony Scott-style reportage / St. Vitus’ dance cinematography again. That got old and worn out around the time of the first Bourne movie… These dudes need to get out more.

2 out of 10 – Filmmaking for plebs by plebs. Look out or rather avoid the TV series sequel to this called No Easy Days. Could I recommend casting Ed Balls and Michael Gove for the Tango & Cash reboot please!

Second review below by Joe Pesci II aka Matt Usher – where he calls Simon Phillips the Chuckle Brother of Crime.




  1. HE WHO DARES 2: DOWNING STREET SIEGE – review by Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II

    They’re back! Britain’s worst film-makers have given us exactly what no-one wanted: a sequel to HE WHO DARES. Anyone who watched that putrescence will know to steer clear of this tripe, anyone ignorant of it is advised that ignorance is bliss. This one is slightly better but that’s like saying Michael Gove is less hideous than George Osborne (or vice versa). But why mention those preposterously pathetic politicians in relation to this film? Because HE WHO DARES – DOWNING STREET SIEGE is a searing critique of the political establishment, a thrilling exposé of the dodgy deals behind closed doors, an angry satirical diatribe berating they who rule for doing so in their own interests, at the expense of those who are ruled.

    Not really, it’s just a film about some thugs shooting each other in nice offices.

    Tom Benedict Knight ‘stars’ as poor Major Lowe (despite apparently wearing the wrong uniform). Not only is he cursed with the looks of a constipated chimpanzee, but he’s also being sacked by the stuffed shirts of Whitehall for doing his job (albeit doing it really badly, leaving dozens dead). In the previous film he was HE WHO DARES, an SAS chap who boldly saved the Prime Minister’s daughter and (more importantly) money from the evil clutches of terrorist-robber Alexander Holt (played by the eminently sub-average Simon Phillips) who died after being shot in the back. Lowe sees himself as the hero of the hour, as do a lot of other characters, none of whom noticed how rubbish he was. For plot reasons the disciplinary enquiry convenes at 10 Downing Street, rather than say, the Ministry of Defence or a House of Commons committee room. But it’s a lucky coincidence because some bad guys have chosen the very same moment to pop in (having secretly driven through London using the fiendishly simple disguise of a red bus complete with, as all London buses are, a dispensable striptease artiste). guess what! They’re led by the dead bad guy! This could have been a surprise had this film not opened with a recap of its predecessor, followed by a long sequence in which we see lots of bad guys raid the hospital where the dead bad guy wasn’t dead at all and slaughter the entire staff none of whom noticed that the hospital was under attack from a masked assault squad (a comment perhaps on the government’s NHS policies?). Recovered from his fatal wound, Phillips/Holt attempts what no-one has done before –an attack on Number 10 Downing Street! (Philips and Tanter have presumably forgotten the IRA’s 1991 attack). Like last time, our villain’s plan’s brazenness is matched only by its barminess. Despite a surfeit of bluster in the villain’s speeches (he’s annoyed with the banks, Britain’s incompetence, the PM’s incompetence, the EU, anything really) his plan is simple: lead a small secret army into Downing Street, kill about fifty people none of whom notice the small secret army, steal the government’s publicity budget, filter it out to 10000 criminal conspirators, all of whom have promised faithfully to send him his cut, and blow himself up inside Downing Street in order to get it. Or something. He is the Chuckle Brother of crime, but without the comic timing or witty dialogue. This time he has a henchman and a henchlady, both of whom are even more useless than he is (whether they are better at acting than Mr Phillips is unclear as henchman just shouts a lot whilst henchlady just pouts a lot). So the bad guys take over No 10, make demands, kill hostages and Major Lowe kills some bad guys and it all ends with a race against a ticking time-bomb.

    The film half-heartedly confronts some issues, so Lowe and Holt rant like Angry Young or Grumpy Old Men about how unfair everything is. Equally half-hearted is a storyline in which a news network broadcasts unverified footage of HE WHO DARES stuffing an umbrella into a fake policeman’s mouth. For reasons unfathomable the actress playing the newsreader presents all this as if she was talking about some shrub-thefts from a garden centre rather than a major terrorist incident. Maybe she’d just found out that Tanter wasn’t going to pay her? Even more bizarre is the bad guy’s plan is to leak the footage to make the good guy look like a bad guy… but then the film completely forgets about this plot. Meanwhile, would an audience care about the Prime Minister being kidnapped? Even worse, they make him a gun-toting hero at the end (though the film-makers should be saluted for finding an actor even less charismatic than our current real-life leader). Although Christina Bellavia again plays his daughter she has no dialogue.

    This bears all the hallmarks of the Tanter-Phillips portfolio: lack of research (an understatement), somebody else’s plot, acting not so much poor as absent (there’s no point singling anyone out), an abysmal script, irritating editing, poor effects, a stupid/glorious twist, an inability to stage fights, action sequences which are somehow brutal yet quaint, you know the drill. I would say that Paul Tanter was getting a bit more competent technically, but seeing as he nearly killed his leading lady (allegedly) maybe what I mean is that he’s nearly learnt to edit. Still can’t hold a camera still though.

    Perhaps we should view this as a post-modern construct, almost as if it’s an impression of an action film as imagined by someone who detests the genre, but who wants to make money out of the idiots who like the genre? Almost as if it’s meant to be a spoof not of the genre, but of its audience? Or is it just the latest get-rich-quick scheme from the Del Boy and Rodney of the British film world?

    At one point the villain says politics is bad because no-one has any big ideas. This from (a) a character whose big idea is to carry out a robbery and (b) film-makers whose big idea is to make enough cash to fund their next ego-trip. But there is one twist in this sorry tale’s tail. A twist so bonkers, idiotic, brilliant and dreadful that aficionados of the movie twist will find their jaws clattering floorwards as the sheer dazzling dizzying dumbness of the idea unfolds. I shan’t spoil it, but it’s when Holt/Phillips suggests a change of clothing. In its upfront rejection of logic, credibility and predictability, it directly confronts the audience and says the film’s target is the audience. Any audience stupid enough to watch this film, the film says, deserves this twist. It’s hard to disagree. Mind you, anyone spending 50 grand to look like Simon Phillips is an idiot who deserves to be shot. (Is this also how they can pave the way for another sequel?) It’s almost as if Tanter and Phillips have listened to their critics. The earlier film was panned by people who know (or think they know) how the SAS operates. Solution: no SAS this time! Other Tanter epics have been criticised for their poor stories. This just steals someone else’s. And does Tanter care? Of course not! Hence the glorious twist which is his way of telling his audience (you know, the people who pay him) what he thinks of them, which would be OK if he was saying anything clever / interesting / original. But all these things are alien to the Tanter / Phillips ethic. Ethic? A strange word to use in relation to the film industry’s most abominable barnacle, someone who has inflicted more bad films on the British public than anyone else.

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