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Angel Has Fallen - DVD Review

Angel Has Fallen

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

THE third film in the Mike Banning franchise swaps a Die Hard scenario for The Fugitive with similarly pointless results.

Leading man Gerard Butler seems intent on ticking off all of his action movie inspirations as he leaps from one generic blockbuster to the next. Here, he channels Harrison Ford but loses the everyman likeability and opts for brainless machismo.

We say brainless because Angel Has Fallen is exactly that. The twists are obvious, which makes the actions of most characters inept at best.

The plot, as such, has Butler’s Secret Service agent Mike Banning framed for the attempted murder of his charge, US President Allan Trumball (Morgan Freeman), and forced to go on the run to clear his name.

All clues lead to the Russians but as Banning edges closer to the truth, secret agendas within his own ranks quickly make an enemy more closer to home seem likely.

It’s fair to say that Angel Has Fallen lays its cards on the table from the outset by employing actors of note in roles that demand – by the law of casting – that you look at them more closely. The odd red herring wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Hence, while the plot isn’t up to much it’s left to the acting and set pieces to pick up the slack.

With regards to the former, Butler employs his usual brawn and throws himself about with typical relish, while the likes of Freeman, Danny Huston and Tim Blake Nelson deliver exactly what’s expected without any nuance or complexity – not that the script offers any despite the possibilities presented by the scenarios involving deception, international meddling and betrayal.

Only Nick Nolte, cropping up as Banning’s PTSD-riddled Vietnam vet absentee dad, seems to have the measure of the absurdity of the material and really goes for broke.

The action, meanwhile, is serviceable and gritty – again, as we’ve come to expect from Butler. But it strains credibility at every opportunity (especially in its use of Banning’s injuries) and eventually becomes tiresome in its predictability.

The overall result is an action thriller that exists to tick the clichés, countdown to the obvious and erase from the memory bank as quickly as possible.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 2hrs 1min
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: December 16, 2019