Cast: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Danny Huston, Michael Landes
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Well, hopefully after Angel Has Fallen, Hollywood’s most unnecessary trilogy will stop here and let something less generic take its place. Seriously, at what point did people start saying, “oh boy I can’t wait for another Gerard Butler movie where he plays a Secret Service agent and has to save the world?” Angel Has Fallen is about as simple an action movie that you can make and goes exactly where you think it’s going. Loud, destructive, and ultimately a fitting end for the series, Angel Has Fallen is much of the same combined with a level of absurdity taken up as far as it can.
The film continues to follow Mike Banning (Butler), a Secret Service agent and main character from the previous two movies. When an assassination attempt on President Allan Trumbull (Freeman) fails and Mike is framed for it, he needs to prove his innocence before either his government or the people who set him up kill him. As you can probably deduct from that description, Angel Has Fallen follows an incredibly similar formula that the previous two movies followed. It’s the same feeling of, “oh no, something bad’s going to happen to the President. Can Mike save the world again?” that the first two movies relied on with the only difference being that this one revolves more around Mike clearing his name and setting the record straight. It still has the same adoration with explosions and over-saturated action scenes that the franchise is known for but nothing to be clever or unique with these scenes. Most of the scenes are very jumbled and poorly choreographed, but the movie seems to course-correct towards the end and we get a couple of moments that are actually smooth and interesting to watch. The one thing I did appreciate about this installment was that they tried to add emotional depth to Mike and make him more than just a generic action hero. Whether this is revelation of his medical struggles after working such a high-stress position for so long or the introduction of Mike’s estranged father Clay (Nick Nolte), Angel Has Fallen shows us that Mike is a little bit more than a killing machine who defends the President, but rather a human being like the rest of us. Clay adds a significant amount to the end result as it shows us where Mike gets his prowess from and helps us understand more about Mike’s life. The final interesting point is that this movie knows that it’s a generic action movie and embraces it by allowing the more comedic side to come out and loosen up the film’s tension. It never really distracts from the main story and action and helps add something that attracts a different type of audience member. Sure most of Angel Has Fallen is a generic, unorganized mess, but there are still enough positive moments that prevent it from being one of the worst movies of the year. I don’t exactly love this franchise, but I do feel that Angel Has Fallen captures the essence of the series and ends it the way it started.
Overall, Angel Has Fallen is lackluster like the other movies in this franchise, but not to the point where it’s offensively bad. Long gone are the days when Butler was an A-list action star and movies like Angel Has Fallen feel very manufactured and exist in a passionless void to make as much money as possible. Great action franchises can still make back their budgets the way that the John Wick movies do, but sadly it looks like Angel Has Fallen fizzles out just like the first movies did.
Overall Score: 3.5/10