Angel Has Fallen Movie Review
Angel Has Fallen won’t win any awards, but it’s a godsend for late summer entertainment. Action-packed and utterly predictable, the Gerard Butler-starring sequel does the things it needs to do well while avoiding any major face-palming moments. In other words, this is B-cinema at its best.
Butler, reprising his role from Olympus Has Fallenand London Has Fallen—two movies I’d say you don’t remember but you probably do because you’re reading this review and only people who have seen the previous two would bother reading this review—plays Mike Banning, the unluckiest Secret Service agent of all time. In this one, he narrowly survives an assassination attempt on President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) and is immediately blamed for the whole thing, because that’s what happens in B-grade action movies.
If you enjoyed the previous franchise entries, you’ll almost assuredly like this one, a straightforward action film involving more than a few surprisingly effective sequences, a likable protagonist, and a reliably predictable plot that mainly makes sense, at least until it doesn’t.
Directed by Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch, not to be confused with Snatch), Angel Has Fallen offers up some impressive set pieces, including a drone assault on the president, a prisoner escape sequence, and amusing assault on a cabin in the woods involving Nick Nolte doing his best impression of Nick Nolte. The climax is also effectively intense.
Nobody is going to confuse Waugh with today’s best action filmmakers, but what he lacks in style and finesse he makes up for in sheer bravado. While the story goes directions you’d entirely expect—most notably the stereotypical and forgettable villains—and the characters make some questionable decisions—such as when said villains, after their plan has gone to shit, press on anyway due to logic that only makes sense in the minds of the screenwriters, or a pair of FBI agents visit the compound where they expect the villains to be, with no backup—Waugh keeps the action churning.
The movie takes a little while to get going as the filmmakers set the stage (only 15 minutes by my count, but it feels longer), has some tonal inconsistencies that don’t entirely work, and concludes with a fairly cheesy denouement. But strip away the bookends and you get an efficient, fast-paced action-thriller.
In turn, Angel Has Fallen is just a little slice of B-grade heaven.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.