If you’re seeking an action rush then you can be sure that Gerard Butler is going to give it to you with Angel Has Fallen as he returns to cinemas guns blazing in this all-out action blockbuster.
After the events in the previous film, Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself framed for an assassination attempt on the President. Pursued by his own agency and the FBI, Banning races to clear his name and uncover the real terrorist threat which has set its eyes sights on Air Force One.
This third installment to the Olympus Has Fallen trilogy finds a new filmmaker to lead the charge in the form of Ric Roman Waugh and this director is definitely up for the challenge. With every single one of his films including Falon, Snitch and Shot Caller, Waugh has always impressed and now he gets to throw his weight behind a serious action movie. And the resulting film really gets your blood going. Waugh centers Angel Has Fallen inside the murky world of shady politics, corporate warfare and a high-intense fugitive chase and he cranks up your adrenaline here. His direction balances traditional Hollywood framing with his own quasi-independent documentary style and this footage takes audiences for one hell of a ride.
Stepping back into the fray once more is Gerard Butler as Secret Service Agent Mike Banning and this time the protector becomes the hunted and has to claw his way out of the gunfire. This time in Angel Has Fallen, we’re seeing a different Mike, a man whose suffering from the effects of repetitive concussions and soft tissue damage caused by a life lived on the edge. This is a man who is not operating at 100%, but who never-the-less jumps head first into the fight and Butler once again commits to the full-on blockbuster action of this narrative.
Together with Waugh, Butler really examines the core of what makes a hero, and he digs in deep as Banning as he takes on a slew of hard-hitting bad guys at their own game in order to clear his name and protect his president and friend Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). Butler is damn quick on the trigger and he’s got some serious hardware that he gets to employ here. He gets himself into plenty of tooth and nail fights that will have you on edge as he does whatever he has to in order to complete his mission. Butler goes all out here and it absolutely shows up on screen in a gripping performance with plenty of heroic action.
Joining Butler in Angel Has Fallen is screen legend Nick Nolte who plays his cantankerous father Clay Banning. A former Army Ranger like his son Mike, Clay is a Vietnam Veteran and tunnel rat who has suffered from life-long PTSD and essentially abandoned life and his son to live off the grid. Circumstance brings this father and son back together, and it becomes clear that they’ll have to work together and finally trust one another if they want to clear Mike’s name and protect Trumbull. It’s clear that Butler has a massive level of respect for Nolte and this absolutely helps inform the chemistry that is formed between the two of them It’s also very cool to see Nolte going to work as this grizzled old war dog who’s still got plenty of fight left in him.
Finally Morgan Freeman once again returns as now President Allan Trumbull and provides plenty of sage-like advice to Mike in his time of need. There’s always a great reassurance when you see Morgan up on screen and after three films with Butler, these two have a great back and forth between one another and it’s fun to watch them together in the scenes that they share. Freeman makes for a great symbol as the American President and he certainly inspires plenty of confidence within his audience here.
For those wanting action, well you’ve definitely come to the right place, because Angel Has Fallen truly delivers on the run and gun action here and there’s plenty of boom as well! Waugh uses the film’s narrative and its world of shady government back dealing and corporate mercenary contractors to his advantage and this leads to some out of control gunfights. Plenty of led is spilled here and then there’s the considerable C4/claymore action that goes on courtesy of Nolte’s Clay Banning which clearly marked my favourite part of the whole film in a series of very big explosions. The action certainly keeps you on your toes as a audience member and it gets gnarly as Butler goes for it with everything he’s got.
Angel Has Fallen is a seriously fun blockbuster action rush and there’s plenty of gnarly cinema moments to keep you pumped with this one.
Image: Roadshow Films