The ‘Has Fallen’ franchise has never really won critics over, but there is something about this Gerard Butler lead franchise that has always appealed to me.
The newest instalment, Angel Has Fallen, sees Butler’s Mike Banning framed for an attempted assassination attempt on the President, who he is sworn to protect. This leads him to attempt to outrun both the real perpetrators and law enforcement to survive. Somehow this franchise has managed to find its way to one of the most generic storylines possible. How often have we seen the falsely accused hero action movie? Even the introduction of Banning’s estranged father, Clay, feels like a commonly used trope.
And yet Angel Has Fallen was every bit as entertaining as the previous two films in the franchise for me. Butler plays an older, and beginning to struggle with health problems Banning fantastically. And the villain being a reflection of his drive and need to be in the action worked really well. Especially when contrasted with Banning’s father, played by Nick Nolte. Clay Banning is someone who hates what his time in war has turned him into, and so become a recluse from society. It’s a good dichotomy between the three men to see the effects of war.
No obviously the movie is highly flawed, with some very predictable story beats becoming apparent long before the reveal is actually made. There are two villain reveals in the film, the First happening early enough that you can’t guess it hours before (there simply isn’t time) but the other is apparent as soon as a mysterious character is introduced.
The action in the film isn’t anything to write home about either. Director Ric Roman Waugh doesn’t do anything particularly interesting in any of the action scenes, with one nighttime sequence particularly ending up far more boring than it should have been.
So there is certainly nothing in Angel Has Fallen that will win over people who didn’t like the first two films. But for someone like me who enjoyed them, this was another highly entertaining film in the ‘Has Fallen’ franchise.