Watched Date: 4/6/2020
It’s not uncommon to see action franchises get up to the third installment, but were we really asking for Angel Has Fallen? Much like its two predecessors, 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen and 2016’s London Has Fallen, they aren’t the most well-crafted action movie to ever come out, but it’s surely some kind of guilty pleasure for some. Despite being lukewarm about those and having no excitement for what was to come next for Gerard Butler this time around, I have a sneaking suspicion it’s close to being the end.
What’s the Story: Authorities take Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Butler) into custody for the failed assassination attempt of U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). After escaping from his captors, Banning must evade the FBI and his own agency to find the real threat to the president. Desperate to uncover the truth, he soon turns to unlikely allies to help clear his name and save the country from imminent danger.
It’s the kind of premise that was going to be seen, eventually, where it makes you wonder why anyone in this universe would dare to go after Butler’s Banning since he already saved the President twice. Three movies deep into a franchise probably nobody saw coming, but wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be, yet it’s a disposable sequel that isn’t worth remembering. Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch) is the third director to take on his style of action to better results, even if that means he has to go along with pushing forward a very predictable script that holds nothing back by it wants to reveal something remotely shocking. This isn’t the first time a story follows the hero trying to find out who’s framing him, and it doesn’t even try to break new ground for a ’90s premise in a movie out in the late 2010s. Fans might be pleased enough to gloss over a negative like this as they just want to be entertained.
As much as I haven’t like Butler in anything for a long time, at least live-action, he still brings his all to probably the best second recognizable character in his career that’s good enough for him to be in these certain action movies that aren’t on a big budget. We’re three movies in now to the point of knowing he’s going to handle this well enough to get through two hours, and that’s because as he’s getting older, he’s dealing with troubling sleeping and wondering if he’s still able to do a job like this if it’s almost killing him. Never thought this would be the one where it fleshes him out, but it was good to know.
Nick Nolte as Butler’s long-lost father was the best aspect of the movie that I was most worried about. His character is a former Vietnam vet who lives off the grid in the woods, which Mike finds. The scenes with him and Butler might’ve been my favorite parts since it was probably the few times I enjoyed what was happening on screen. He could’ve just been in the forest and they shot around him, for all I know. For the rest of the supporting cast, the returning members like Freeman and Lance Reddick weren’t given a lot, especially when Freeman’s in the hospital for a majority of the movie. Then you also have newcomers like Jada Pinkett Smith, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo (replacing Radha Mitchell), and as soon as I saw Danny Huston was in this, he plays the exact character you come to expect from him.
In finally talking about the action sequences, none of them that were in here either looked great or was cool enough to be on the edge of my seat by when they were happening. That might be because of feeling like it goes on for too long, but the overall quality wasn’t enough to make it better when it gets to the third act. But I will say it was an improvement than what we saw in London Has Fallen. Any time when it has to go with the mediocre CGI was bad, and I knew it was going to be hard to look at when I saw the trailers. But if you have a soft spot for these movies and want to have fun with it, you’re able to get the same amount of enjoyment from the last two. Since I thought the original was a better interpretation of a Die Hard movie and its follow-up is very “meh” the more I thought about it, it’s about time let things go.
Angel Has Fallen pretty much falls in line with the previous installments of this action franchise, and the results were another forgettable sequel that’s very predictable and contains lackluster action sequences, something that’s suited better to watch on TNT on a weekend.