Film review, by Jason Day, of Angel Has Fallen the action blockbuster starring Gerard Butler as a Secret Service agent who must prove his innocence when he is framed for trying to assassinate the President (played by Morgan Freeman).
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Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is a Secret Service agent who has seen plenty of action. After the White House was nearly demolished by terrorists and later saving the President from a city-wide attack when London was besieged.
Now, he is a father to a cute daughter but is harbouring secrets from his wife (Piper Perabo) – his health is in decline which could affect a big promotion.
Now, he has other fish to fry as there is a drone-led assassination attempt on the new President (Morgan Freeman) and someone has framed him as the culprit. Suddenly named as American’s most wanted, he has to deal with the FBI, police and local vigilantes to prove his innocence and seek revenge.
Review, by Jason Day
Third time unlucky for Gerard Butler’s Mike Banning, the Secret Service agent who sees more action in one lunchtime than a hundred other such professionals do in their entire careers.
You would think that after saving decimated American and British capitals one man would have had enough, but this suited and booted Rambo would never give way when there are baddies malingering in every shadow.
But is it all getting a bit easy for Banning? He only has his reputation and a a comatose President in a hospital to save.
He’s aided and abetted by his long last Dad (Nick Nolte, looking and sounding like the wild man of Borneo).
Even his wife gets to do more than bookend the movie with dull domestic scenes that remind the audience Banning is a real human and not a mean machine. Here, the wonderful Radha Mitchell is replaced by the estimable Piper Perabo who is allowed to show a little mettle.
Angel Has Fallen is the sort of film that usually sticks in my craw. The last two were so improbable they teetered into buddy-buddy comedies. The slack writing continues here.
His colleagues, whom he has worked with for years and know like the back of their hands, are very quick to believe he has gone rogue.
They don’t question the too neat assassination attempt and that the uber professional and experienced Banning would commit the schoolboy terrorist error of leaving behind a shed load of DNA evidence.
The FBI agent assigned to hunt him down (Jada Pinket-Smith – cool, calm, collected and criminally underused) swiftly switches to believing he has been set up.
Things like this usually irk me, but I actually warmed to this movie more than its previous incarnations. But with this ‘easy does it’ slant and heavy nods in the script toward the privation of the armed forces and the incompetency of those in high political office, Angel Has Fallen has topicality to it.
It’s actually – slightly – believable.
Of our leading man, I’m old enough to remember the time when Gerard Butler spoke with a great and sexy Scots accent in films, even in 300 (where he played a Spartan/Greek king).
He is still a solid and appealing star, but with material as workmanlike as this, he seems removed from what attracted us to him in the first place.
Cast & credits
Director: Ric Roman Waugh. 2hrs 1min/121 mins. Campbell Grobman Films/Eclectic Pictures/G-Base/Millennium Films. (15)
Producers: Gerard Butler, Mark Gill, Matt O’Toole, Matthew O’Toole, Alan Siegel, John Thompson, Les Weldon.
Writers: Robert Mark Kamen, Matt Cook, Ric Roman Waugh.
Camera: Jules O’Loughlin.
Music: David Buckley.
Sets: Russell De Rozario.
Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Frederick Schmidt, Danny Huston, Rocci Williams, Piper Perabo, Harry Ditson, Lind John-Pierre, Ori Pfeffer, Jasmine Hyde.