Current Issue #488

Film Review: Angel Has Fallen

Film Review: Angel Has Fallen

The third film in the Fallen series again features Gerard Butler and lots of violent action, but whereas the previous pics were straight-faced nonsense, this is just nonsense nonsense.

With a few recast roles, a different production house and new, lame plot quirks but exactly the same pro-American, flag-waving dopiness, this was intended, as Gerard himself has said, to be more character-driven, but that doesn’t work if all the characters are idiots.

After the events of Olympus Has Fallen (Gerard saves The White House) and London Has Fallen (Gerard saves the UK) you wonder why his ex-military Secret Service agent extraordinaire Mike Banning isn’t the President himself, but instead he’s at first shown to be spending time with his wife Leah (Piper Perabo filling in for Radha Mitchell) and young daughter, and having dinner with old pal Wade Jennings (Danny Huston filling in for Holt McCallany).

He’s also having health problems which make him unsure if he can be the head of security for new President Allan Trumbull, who’s played by Morgan Freeman and isn’t actually filling in for anyone, as he played the Speaker of the House in Olympus and has evidently been voted in. But it does all look a bit suspicious, and to add to the confusion dear old Freeman recently revealed that he only did the film for the money. Bless him.

Naturally Mike and his agents are guarding the Prez on a fishing trip when there’s an attack by killer drones, and when Trumbull winds up in a coma and Mike the only other guy left alive, the FBI come calling. He’s then arrested for conspiring to assassinate the President, with further evidence in the form of DNA somehow found at the site of the attack, a deposit of 10 million bucks from a Russian source and more. Yes, he’s obviously being framed, but everyone turns against him anyway, despite the fact he probably saved all their miserable lives in the previous pics. Ungrateful!

There’s a nearly funny bit where Mike is held at gunpoint by a redneck urban militia, which appears to be making a satirical point about Americans and their love for firearms, but this whole damn movie loves guns even more. And Gerard and most of the rest of the cast certainly get to use them too, including no less than, so help me, Nick Nolte as Mike’s loopy, off-the-grid Dad Clay, who looks like Bigfoot and hams it up so grandly you could almost open a pig farm.

And is there meant to be some kind of dumb anti-Trump sentiment somewhere in there too? There’s a throwaway mention of Russian meddling in the election and a few more vague digs, but they’re all way too ludicrous to take seriously on any level whatsoever.

But yes, there could well be another sequel, which will be called… what? Hong Kong Has Fallen? Reykjavik Has Fallen? Sydney Has Fallen, perhaps? Or what about Iron Knob Has Fallen?

Angel Has Fallen (MA) is in cinemas now

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