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Movie Review: Angel Has Fallen

Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat.

 

 

Summer 2019 has been a bit of a bust when it comes to new film releases. It’s usually a lacklustre season that’s saved by a big superhero release. However, since that already happened in the Spring with the goliath that was Avengers: Endgame, it’s been a particularly sluggish summer for film.

 

No, I’m not here to tell you that Angel Has Fallen is our glorious saviour of Summer cinema, but for the sake of having something to watch, it makes a nice change from the continuous school holiday screenings of The Lion King and Angry Birds 2.

 

 

A failed assassination attempt on President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) sees Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) as the only surviving staff member at the scene. He wakes up in hospital in cuffs, charged with the attempted murder of the president after copious amounts of evidence point to his involvement in the attack. Banning is determined to prove his innocence, so when his prison van is hijacked, he takes the chance to go on the run to find the truth.

 

I was very sceptical about the third instalment and I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and admit to judging Butler’s appearance in the trailer. He looks tired, puffy and expressionless, reminding me of Sylvester Stallone in recent years (ok, decades). I was quick to assume he couldn’t cut the mustard anymore. Since watching the film though, his aesthetic is extremely relevant to the storyline as we see Mike as a painkiller popping insomniac pushed to breaking point physically and mentally from start to finish.

 

 

During his travels, he seeks out his estranged father, Clay Banning (Nick Nolte), a reclusive war veteran with a few tricks up his sleeve that probably provided the edge that Mike lacked in this film. Nolte’s rattled Clay resembled the late Albert Finney in Skyfall, which I think is why I warmed to this character as much as Trumbull. Without giving anything away, this guy is badass.

 

 

Angel Has Fallen is what I would call an ‘easy watch’, which may work for some as an action-driven film. On the other hand, it also means that nothing about the plot was fresh or surprising. In fact, I figured out who the main villain was the instant I saw him, which is not usually an observation I get right. Because of that, I struggled to care about anything other than if Morgan Freeman was going to be alright. I mean, he’s an 82-year-old icon pretending to get shot at every five minutes, so who wouldn’t be concerned?

 

 

There were some strong action sequences throughout, but unfortunately, much like predecessor London Has Fallen, the CGI just couldn’t back it up. The explosions towards the end of the film showed a huge weakness (that’s not a spoiler by the way. It’s not an action film without explosions at the end). Then again, according to IMDB, London Has Fallen is the highest-grossing film of the three, so maybe poor effects shouldn’t deter you from giving the latest chapter a chance. To its credit, the drone sequence featured in the trailer is the most original part about the entire film and worth a watch for that.

 

To conclude, Angel Has Fallen is certainly not a waste of time, but maybe not time well spent. Butler delivers an ok performance, but with the likes of Tom Cruise still pulling out stunts at 57 with far more skill, I think Butler’s combat days are numbered. I hope this remains a trilogy because I feel any more additions will just be as forgettable as this one. Thank God for the old boys in this!

 

With that, I give this a 6/10.


September 3rd, 2019 by Gemma
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019 at 4:25 pm and is filed under General, Movie Review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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