The third entry in the “… Has Fallen” franchise sees Gerard Butler grumble his way through yet another spy actioner as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, who faces his most daunting task yet: a bargain bin plot that splices The Fugitive with a middling episode of 24, dosed with some distractingly awful CGI.
As frustrating as it is that five credited writers worked up the collective nerve to serve up this groan-inducingly formulaic story, featuring the same telegraphed twists and turns we’ve seen a thousand times before, it’s the casting director who takes the lion’s share of the blame here. It’s hard to recall an acting roster so comically obvious, so much so that the second someone appears on screen, it’s clear from the onset how their character arc will unravel. The on-the-nose drafting of Danny Houston and Tim Blake Nelson is worst of all, as both thesps may as well have grown oversized moustaches to sinisterly twirl for their respective “You can trust me… honest” roles.
That being said and as expectedly bland as Angel Has Fallen is, it is not as morally repugnant as 2016’s second instalment in the series, London Has Fallen, which spewed up jingoism so toxic that it made even the staunchest of chest-beating patriots cringe, and gave us – lest we forget – timeless dialogue like “Go back to Fuckheadistan”. So, while ‘return to form’ might be a bit excessive for Angel Has Fallen, count your blessings that the script is less out of touch with the current climate, and that all we’re getting this time around is a generic action B-movie. Oorah, I guess.
Angel Has Fallen | Directed by Ric Roman Waugh (US, 2019), with Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Danny Houston. Starts Aug 29.
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