Quick Read Review
In 2013 we were given Olympus Has Fallen, followed in 2016 by London Has Fallen. Each blowing up favourite holiday destinations and landmarks. While killing as many people as possible on screen in a shower of bullets, explosions and rocket launchers. Now ‘Die Hard’ wannabe Mike Banning is back, bringing yet more chaos to the White House. Gerard Butler reprising his secret agent role. While not seeming too have realised that retirement to a nice isolated island in the pacific may have been the better option for everyone.
This time, it’s not a city or building under siege, but Banning himself. After being framed for the attempted murder of the President (Morgan Freeman) while on a sleepy fishing trip. A trip that leads to thousands of killer drones murdering the whole secret service entourage, apart from Banning. As he becomes a fugitive from the FBI, Banning must unpick the mystery behind his predicament. Also finding time to reunite with his long lost mountain hermit dad (Nick Nolte) on the way.
Angel Has Fallen is sloppy filmmaking, opting for explosions and gunfire over story and script at every turn. Even Gerard Butlers Banning looks bored and tired of the relentless death toll and poor green screen work on display. Meanwhile Nick Nolte (Banning Senior) spends a large amount of his time on screen babbling in a manner that not even the best Dolby system can interpret.
Morgan Freeman’s President Trumbell opts to spend most of the film in a coma (probably the safest place to be). While Butler’s on screen wife Leah miraculously changes her face from actor Radha Mitchell to Piper Perabo. The villain’s of the piece are kept at arms length their back story largely ignored. Alongside the political intrigue and betrayal at the heart of government that could have proved interesting.
Angel Has Fallen sticks to tried and tested action film methods. That for some will create a reasonably enjoyable testosterone fuelled experience. But like many other recent action movies, it fails to offer anything unique and different, bathing in its own mediocrity. Offering nothing more than an ever increasing body count at the cost of suspense, story or ingenuity.
The films interesting themes of cyber security, drone warfare and hired guns in conflict, are sidelined in favour of action set pieces. Whilst the introduction of Banning senior, offers little to the plot. Feeling like a last minute addition to allow for some double act style humour.
Angel Has Fallen never pushes the boundaries of the genre it inhabits, at times looking tired and bored with its own characters through a hail of gunfire and pyrotechnics. However, there may just be enough here to keep some audiences mildly entertained, rescuing the franchise from oblivion.
I however, can now only hope that Butler’s Banning takes a well deserved retirement. Maybe selling ice creams outside the White House, or becoming a security guard at a local shopping mall. Although, in reality I wouldn’t rule out him being back again for more, probably with Dad in tow.