ANGEL HAS FALLEN – Just What You’d Expect

Sorry we’re a little late on the review for ANGEL HAS FALLEN – we don’t seem to be getting invites from Roadshow anymore and Kernel Elie just got around to seeing it in the cinemas now it has released. Thanks for taking one for the team Ellie – this doesn’t sound very exciting, although it does seem exactly what one would imagine for a third film in this “Fallen” franchise.

ANGEL HAS FALLEN is out now from Roadshow Films, it is rated M and runs for 121mins. Enjoy Elie’s thoughts on the film…….all the best……JK.

Angel Has Fallen Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler

BY ELIE ELKORR

ANGEL HAS FALLEN SYNOPSIS:

Esteemed Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is framed for an attempted assassination on the President of the United States Allan Trumbull. (Morgan Freeman) It’s now a race against the clock as America’s most wanted desperately attempts to clear his name while trying to uncover a mole that threatens the nation’s security. Getting THE FUGITIVE or WHITE HOUSE DOWN VIBES anyone?

Angel Has Fallen Daniel Singh
Daniel Singh

LET’S GET RIGHT INTO THE ACTION:

The abundance of shaky cam and quick cuts in ANGEL HAS FALLEN is nauseating. Although delivering a few brutal deaths, ANGEL HAS FALLEN fires empty cartridges when it comes to how the overall action and hand-to-hand combat is directed. Both RAID films and JOHN WICK 3 have set that bar for action films of our generation. One take scenes and wide shots brimming with pulsating hand-to-hand combat and ruthless kills make both films an immersive cinematic experience. ANGEL HAS FALLEN falls far below the curve of what these two action masterpieces had to offer.

The set pieces within ANGEL HAS FALLEN were fine. Nothing too memorable or unique. There is one sequence in a forest where director Ric Roman Waugh challenges Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS films for most explosions within a single scene. The score non-existed, and there began the barrage of explosions. BOOM! After BOOM! after BOOM! It was endless, surprisingly pleasing, and comical.

ANGEL HAS FALLEN is another example of a film that tries to be too big for its budget. The CGI was disturbing. At one point, a blue haze and outline around Gerard Butler were inescapable to the eye. It was the theatre screen playing up, or someone in the editing room forgot to do their job. Let’s go with the latter, shall we? The third act also fell victim to limited funding. When an entire building collapses, our lead heroes appeared to be running behind a 2D wallpaper. It was that bad!

Angel Has Fallen Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler

THE CHARACTERS – SAVED BY NICK NOLTE:

ANGEL HAS FALLEN is too concerned with outdoing its predecessors in terms of action rather than character development. Gerard Butler as the heroic Mike Banning is likeable. Butler was decent in both OLYMPUS and LONDON HAS FALLEN however his performance in ANGEL HAS FALLEN is not going to win any new audiences who passed on viewing the first two instalments. Mike Banning is provided with an arc that tests his mental condition as an agent. However, instead of following through, Banning’s mental condition chooses to come and go as the script pleases. Even with a mental condition, the script paints Banning as an indestructible killing machine able to withstand waves of disposable combat soldiers.

Nick Nolte as Clay Banning is the saving grace of ANGEL HAS FALLEN. Both he and Gerard Butler are a great father-son duo. The two bounce off each other well providing a few chuckles with their heated exchanges. Nolte’s character is provided with a clichéd, yet sufficient, family arc that adds a breath of fresh air to this predictable and dull outing.

Lance Reddick is cast aside. For a man of his talents, the writers reduced him to a paper-thin character that will make audiences go ‘Oh it’s that guy from JOHN WICK.’ Jada Pinkett Smith’s character is the clichéd FBI agent that doesn’t believe the protagonist. Forgettable. Morgan Freeman is only in this film to add to his retirement superannuation fund. Freeman even openly admitted in interviews that he accepted the role in ANGEL HAS FALLEN for the money – “It’s the third in a series, it pays better than the first one,” the veteran actor admitted.

Angel Has Fallen Nick Nolte
Nick Nolte

THE PLOT – BEYOND ORIGINAL:

Predictable and clichéd. What were the writers thinking? ANGEL HAS FALLEN is filled to the brim with OTT generic antagonists. When searching for the word ‘predictable’ in any dictionary, ANGEL HAS FALLEN is now classified as the 2019 updated definition of the word. One of the ‘reveals’ is directly stripped from WHITE HOUSE DOWN and it is truly laughable at how serious the film makes it out to be. There is also one scene involving Nolte’s character where he magically teleports halfway across the United States to save Mike Banning’s family. It looks like a page of the script was lost there.

It also wouldn’t be a generic action film without blaming the Russians. Oh, the good old Russians who seem to be behind everything. There is even a jab at Donald Trump for the supposed election tampering involving Russian hackers.

Angel Has Fallen Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler

BLEEDING OUT:

Despite having explosions and bodies to spare, ANGEL HAS FALLEN is another forgettable and clichéd finale to the FALLEN trilogy. Nick Nolte and Gerard Butler seem to be the only sparks in a film that is hampered by subpar special effects, poorly directed action scenes, and a predictable storyline that has more holes than the second Death Star.

YOUR CRITIC:

Elie Elkorr is a proud film critic and writer for Salty Popcorn. He is a movie fanatic and also runs his own Twitter page for movie reviews and news @TweetEReviews1. He likes calling out movies when they provide social commentary rather than focusing on actual story and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it. His views are his own. He is also a Law and Film student on the side and is the heir to being Black Widow’s Boyfriend. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.