In ‘‘Angel Has Fallen,’’ legendary Secret Service agent Mike Banning is reaching the twilight of his career. The years of extreme stunts and battles have left him all but disabled, prompting him to look into a cozy desk job.
But, a sudden attack on the president leaves Mike framed for the assassination attempt. Suddenly, being on the run isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, can Mike keep the president safe, and find a way to clear his name?
The third film in the ‘‘Fallen’’ series, this one lacked the exciting action punch that the defined the first two.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of action and intrigue, but that’s only in the last half of the movie. The effects were, at times, laughably terrible, as was a lot of the camera work. It was hard to tell who was getting beaten up by whom, so you just had to wait until the dust cleared to see who was left standing.
The twisty, turning plot that made the others so fun was yawn-inducingly predictable. The big plot reveals felt like when you try to pretend to be excited by the thousandth cool rock your toddler shows you. But, if you like to see Gerard Butler kicking butt and taking names, then you will not be disappointed, for the third time around.
Butler leads the case as Banning, playing his same role that got him here, the grizzled soldier, although he is looking noticeably more long in the tooth.
Morgan Freeman is impossible not to love, as usual. Piper Perabo’s character could have been played by anyone — she was completely underutilized — as was Jada Pinkett-Smith.
The real star of the film was Nick Nolte, playing the wild-eyed, shell-shocked loose cannon that has become his norm. He completely stole the show.
There is a lot of violence, of course, with an impressively high body count. There is a steady stream of soldiers that are all expendable. Expect lots of explosions, shootings, car chases and the usual fare, with some blood and a little gore.
The language was unnecessarily severe, with an affinity for the F word, in particular. There was no nudity, or sexy stuff involved, though. Only the mildest of drinking occurred; it wasn’t even memorable.
With the established action and mystery of the first two films, I guess the studio thought they could coast through on their success. They didn’t bother putting too much effort into this one.
There was nothing new in this film; it was the same exact story that’s been done time and time again. The scenarios were ridiculous. Apparently, you can demolish half a city and the authorities will barely even notice; you can expect very little resistance.
But, if you’re looking for some decent action and predictable plot to just unplug your brain for a couple of hours, then it’s definitely a way to spend your time.
I give it an underwhelmed 6/10.
Definitely not for children, but older teens and adults should enjoy the action.
Side note: The Nick Nolte mid-credit scenes are the best part of the whole movie.
Rating: R for violence and language
Run time: 114 long minutes