Directed by Ric Roman Waugh
United States Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) races against time to clear his name after being framed for a drone attack on U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman).
Gerard Butler is at it again protecting the president. This time Mike could quite possibly become the head of the Secret Service, but he is keeping secret some health issues. I guess they felt some reason to make him less superhuman. In all three movies no matter what happens you are always cheering for Banning. He is a mortal superhero. He goes in and sprays bullets and kicks bad guy ass all in the name of America and protecting everything that is decent and good. Butler has created a charming asshole in this character but for some reason they had to knock him down closer to human.
Trumbull spends most of the movie in a coma and only wakes up at the very end in order to get Banning back into the action. Freeman is a very good actor and he’s done phenomenal in the previous two. Here he just does not do too much though. His name gives weight to an escapist wish fulfillment actioner, but a name actor is not necessary for the role of president here. They could have created a new president character and hired a no name and saved a few bucks. Eckhart skipped out so I think dumping Freeman was possible.
Nick Nolte joins the cast of the film as Banning’s estranged father Clay. He is a former Vietnam-era Ranger/Tunnel Rat and is suffering from some serious PTSD. Clay is as much of a bad ass as Mike is, but the character does not really get used as much. One of the better scenes of the movie is when the bad guys start closing in on his shack where Clay is living and Mike, using his Secret Service tools, had previously tracked him to. At some point prior Clay had planted explosives all over the mountain and the scene is basically him blowing up everybody coming after them. It is an over the top scene and scenario, but you watch these movies for stuff like that.
That sadly is the bulk of what happens with Clay. His only other purpose is to go save Mike’s wife Leah (Piper Perabo) and daughter from mercenaries sent by Wade Jennings (Danny Huston). I hope if there is a fourth movie Clay gets to join in the action and becomes a little more important to the story. There was a lot of potential here that just was not used.
Danny Houston plays Banning’s old friend and one of the villains in the movie. Houston is a good villain actor. He really delivers every time he plays a bad guy. This time is no different. He has designs on defense contracts to keep his company going and with the help of Vice President Kirby’s (Tim Blake Nelson) more aggressive foreign policy stance. Together they decided to take out Trumbull. That is the plot.
The conspiracy to assassinate Trumbull so VP Kirby can take over just does not feel as complex as in the other movies. There were more twists and turns in unraveling what was going on in the previous films than here. All the important details are laid out early on to Banning. While before the audience had a good idea of what was what, Banning did not. Everything that occurred was straight forward with nothing that could be counted as an interesting development.
The action scenes in Angel Has Fallen were not as strong as in the predecessors. While the cabin rocked and the climax in the hospital was cool, nothing rose to the level of what they did in the previous entries. They lacked much of the same energy overall.
The story for Angel Has Fallen is good but it is not the strongest of the three. The conspiracy is interesting enough but not as everywhere as the first or second. There is plenty of action in this movie but not of as high a quality as before. It is not my favorite of the films, but it is a good action film. This is what Butler is best at and he does a good job in the role in a story that rests on his shoulders. You will enjoy it but not to the extent of what came before.