When there is an assassination attempt on U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), his trusted confidant, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), is wrongfully accused and taken into custody. After escaping from capture, he becomes a man on the run and must evade his own agency and outsmart the FBI in order to find the real threat to the President. Desperate to uncover the truth, Banning turns to unlikely allies to help clear his name, keep his family from harm and save the country from imminent danger.
What We Thought:
I have a soft spot for this Gerard Butler/Morgan Freeman franchise which started with Olympus Has Fallen was followed by London Has Fallen and now gives us Angel Has Fallen. Are they great movies? No, of course not. Are they dumb fun with unrealistic stories and big, loud explosions and action? Hells yeah!
And that’s all I want from these movies. This sees Butler’s Secret Service Agent character Mike set up for an assassination attempt on Freeman’s President character and honestly, who cares? You don’t really require much storytelling in these movies. It’s just enough plot and you know Mike didn’t do it and will find a way to prove his innocence and on the way you ask for him to kill people and blow stuff up.
And boy do they blow stuff up. The assassination attempt is pretty crazy with drones dive bombing around a shore line wiping out other agents and taking out the President’s boat. Butler saves Freeman in time and both end up in the hospital where “evidence” points at Butler. Mike escapes through unwanted help who try to set him up even more now that the President isn’t dead. There’s a transport scene with action and shooting and a tractor trailer scene with action and shooting and Mike gets away with a few scratches.
Then we meet Nick Nolte. I love wild hair/crazy beard Nick Nolte and he’s great in this. You automatically know he’s nuts and will bring comedic relief and much more. He’s a recluse in the woods which means he either has an arsenal of guns or is going to light up the forest. I won’t tell you which. He’s a great addition to the franchise.
Watching these types of movies I always feel sad though. I feel sad when I hear the audience reacting to the reveals. If you have half a brain you automatically know who the bad guy is from the get go. You can also figure out who the man behind the scenes pulling the strings is too. When the first bad guy is found out, there was a gasp in the theater. I laughed at that gasp because you should be able to tell right away. That’s not a slight on the film, these movies aren’t layered masterpieces like Memento, but if you’ve ever watched a movie in your life you shouldn’t be surprised by any of it! I do genuinely wish I could shut my brain off like the audience though and be surprised by things.
The only real negative I had with the film is the addition of Jada Pinkett Smith. I honestly didn’t realize it was her at first. I thought it looked like her, but looked younger and Spanish. I hated the character right away because it’s nothing, but a cliched “Tough Female Agent” type speaking stereotypical dialogue and I wanted her dead immediately.
Angel Has Fallen is pretty much what I wanted it to be. There are some great explosions with guys getting blown up sideways and backwards & forward. They blow up a building and there is all kinds of gun action. Butler is a master of these roles and Freeman gives a few monologues which is great. Piper Perabo replaces Radha Mitchell as Mike’s wife from the first two films and Danny Huston is always a good addition. If the Jada Pinkett Smith character wasn’t there I might have liked it more, but as it is, it’s still…
Recommended If You Like:
- Olympus Has Fallen
- London Has Fallen
- White House Down
Cast: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo, with Nick Nolte, and Danny Huston
Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh
Screenplay by: Robert Mark Kamen and Matt Cook & Ric Roman Waugh
Story by: Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt
Based on: Characters Created by Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt
Produced by: Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel, Matt O’Toole, John Thompson, Les Weldon, Yariv Lerner