Pros: More live action, less visual effects; more close-ups and emphasis on the actors; good staging of fights and shootouts Cons: Absolute predictability of the plot; last footage of the film Angel Has Fallen / “The Fall of an Angel”
Genre thriller, action
Directed by Rick Roman Waugh
Cast: Gerard Butler (Mike Banning), Morgan Freeman (US President Allan Trumbull), Danny Huston (Wade Jennings), Michael Landes (Sam Wilcox), Nick Nolte (Clay Banning), Piper Perabo (Leah Banning), Jada Pinkett Smith ( FBI agent Helen Thompson), Tim Blake Nelson (US Vice President Martin Kirby), etc.
Millennium Media Studios, Lionsgate
Year of release 2019
To be honest, after the terrible London Has Fallen, I didn’t expect anything good from Angel Has Fallen. Well, the authors managed to pleasantly surprise me. The third part of the series turned out to be not as bad as one might think, moreover, on the whole I even liked the film… if not for the last minute of screen time.
So, Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), who is tipped to become the head of the service, finds himself in trouble again. More precisely, US President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) gets into trouble, and Banning once again saves him (it seems that it is simply dangerous for presidents to be in close proximity to Agent Banning). True, there is a problem – now Banning himself is accused of organizing an assassination attempt on the president and he has to hide from his own colleagues and at the same time it is necessary to ensure the safety of the first person of the state.
One of the main problems with Angel Has Fallen lies in the very essence of such films. We have already seen action films so many times about brave agents of various intelligence services set up by colleagues/enemies/hackers/Russians/whatever you want, that we can predict the development of the plot two hours in advance. How to guess who actually framed the main character. In addition, we know very well how such films end – the president is saved, the opponents are defeated, the main character’s wife and child are not harmed. In such conditions it is difficult to empathize with the heroes. And yes, there will definitely be a final knife fight on the roof, how could we not do without it.
However, after London Has Fallen the authors did serious work on the mistakes. Babak Najafi’s place in the director’s chair was taken by former stuntman Rick Roman Waugh (who worked on stunts in such films as Universal Soldier, The Last of the Mohicans, Last Action Hero, Hard Target, The Crow, Gone in 60 Seconds, The One), who retrained as screenwriters and directors. Perhaps thanks to Waugh’s stuntman roots, Angel Has Fallen places more emphasis on live action stunts and choreographed gunfights rather than the CGI that was a major complaint in the previous film.
This is not to say that there are many tricks in Angel Has Fallen, but those that exist look quite realistic and are even well shot. Again, a chase through the forest in a huge truck looks 100 times cooler than the obscure race through London in London Has Fallen. As for the shootings, Waugh decided to follow the example of colleagues Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. And although Angel Has Fallen is still far from John Wick, there are still some gun-fu elements here, and in general the shooting looks more realistic and brutal.
To add drama to the picture, the authors introduced into the plot the medical history of Mike Banning, his relationship with his father who left them in childhood, the problem of trust between Mike and his wife and Mike and the president. Plus, the cameraman was instructed to use more close-ups and very close-ups, which somewhat diversified the visuals. In a word, the work on the mistakes has been done, not everything is perfect yet, but a positive shift has emerged.
It’s hard to talk about acting in films like Angel Has Fallen, but I have to say that Gerard Butler really tries. At least in the new part he doesn’t look as stupid and pretentious as in the previous one. Separately, I would like to mention Piper Perabo, who plays Leah, Banning’s wife. In some shots, she looks like actress Emilia Clarke’s lost twin sister.
In general, Angel Has Fallen could be called a good action movie, if not for the last frames, or rather the last frame of the film. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the cinema if I knew WHO would be shown in close-up at the end. My advice to you is to leave the session immediately after the final blow on the roof. And hurry up. Yes, there is also a funny scene in the credits, but believe me, it’s not worth it.
The points below take into account the final scene; if you evaluate the film without it, you can easily add another half point.
After the terrible London Has Fallen, the new part of “The Fall…” is a big step forward