Action Angel Has Fallen

Review: ‘Angel Has Fallen’ Rises Above Your Typical Action Extravaganza

August 21, 2019Ben MK

To quote the poetic musings of Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." And while that may not necessarily hold true in real life, in the world of movies — the action genre, in particular — that seems to be a reliable credo to live by.

Enter Angel Has Fallen, the latest film in a trilogy that follows Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), a man who has risked his own life for the sake of his nation time and time again. But after personally coming to the rescue of American President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) in 2013's Olympus Has Fallen and 2016's London Has Fallen, Mike now finds himself fighting for his own future, after being framed for yet another attempted assassination on the leader of the free world — this time, involving an army of killer drones and now-President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman).

Forced to go on the run and off the grid, not to mention hunted by a relentless FBI agent named Thompson (Jada Pinkett Smith), Mike must turn to the one person he never thought he would ever see again — his estranged, survivalist dad, Clay (Nick Nolte). But who would want to set Mike up and what could be their motivation? As father and son soon discover, neither longtime friendship nor the sworn oath to protect one's country is enough to quell men's overwhelming desire for money and power.

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh, what follows ends up being a surprisingly grounded take on your standard action extravaganza, portraying Mike not as some superhuman warrior impervious to all damage, but rather as a man for whom the years of battle have started to take a toll on his mind and body. At the same time, Waugh and co-writers Robert Mark Kamen and Matt Cook manage to weave just enough political drama into the narrative to enable the movie to also function as a subtle political thriller, incorporating real-life tensions between the U.S. and Russia to help propel the proceedings when things aren't blowing up on-screen.

Of course, if you're buying a ticket to Angel Has Fallen, odds are your primary concern is the quality and quantity of its action; and in that regard, the film certainly is no slouch, delivering what is seemingly more explosions per minute than any other movie this year. In fact, this may well be the best entry in the franchise so far, which is high praise indeed for a film that easily rises above the expectations set by its predecessors.

Angel Has Fallen releases August 21st, 2019 from VVS Films. The film has an MPAA rating of R for violence and language throughout. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 0 min.

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