THE MOVIE GUY — Falling for “Angel Has Fallen.”
Published 12:02 am Friday, August 23, 2019
Gerard Butler has fallen for his “Fallen” movie franchise, and he shows no sign of wanting to ever get up again.
In “Angel Has Fallen,” the Scottish action hero is once again playing a secret service agent who is forced to singlehandedly save a prominent leader from a conspiracy that threatens to plunge the world into chaos. This time around, he’s facing a drone attack that puts the US President (Morgan Freeman) in a coma. To make matters worse, our hero is being framed for the attack.
We know that he’s innocent, but that doesn’t stop a determined agent (Jada Pinkett Smith). She’s hot on his trail, making things difficult as he tries to clear his name as well as keep the president safe from further threats.
The set up reminds me of “The Fugitive,” although this movie obviously has much bigger action sequences.
I enjoyed “Angel has Fallen” more than any of the previous movies in the franchise. I won’t try to convince you that this is among the very best action films ever produced, but I found this third outing to be very entertaining.
Butler is a solid leading man. He’s good looking and brawny and utterly believable as the hero who refuses to surrender, even when he’s facing down a literal army of bad guys. He doesn’t fare as well when asked to share the screen with his more charismatic co-stars, but those quieter moments don’t happen all that often here, lest they get in the way of the action spectacle moments.
Once again, I won’t say that the filmmakers are doing anything new with the fight sequences, but they certainly deliver the requisite kick. From the opening drone attack to a big rig mountain chase to an all-out assault on a hospital, “Angel has Fallen” had me on the edge of my seat for much of the movie.
Throw in a solid supporting cast that includes Freeman, Pinkett Smith, Piper Perabo and Nick Nolte, who almost steals the show with his crazy old hermit routine, and you have a movie that does almost everything right.
My only major critique is the film’s villain. I won’t reveal his identity as it’s supposed to be a surprise, but even the most casual observer will suss out the bad guy from his very first moment on screen. He ends up being a cartoon villain.
I don’t know if Butler will fall again for further sequels, but as long as he’s making brainless-but-exciting action spectacles, I will fall right in line with the many fans of this franchise.
Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are each week in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.