TL;DR – I don’t think anything here will surprise you, but it was still a solid action flick, touching on all the big buzzword fears of the moment.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
A couple of years ago I popped and on a whim caught a showing of London Has Fallen. It was a perfectly fine if boilerplate action film and overall I did quite enjoy it. Though my mileage was a lot further than a lot of people as I had not seen the first film, so the fact that they hit almost the same plot beats was not as much of an issue. Well the third film in the series is out today and overall it’s pretty much the same as last time, with maybe a little something extra.
So to set the scene, we open with United States Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) holding off a bunch of goons while under attack only for it to be just a paintball exercise. His old Army buddy Wade Jennings (Danny Huston) runs a training outfit and with Mike probably about to take over has head of the Secret Service he’s hoping he can send some training contracts his way. It is not likely as President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) has but a ban on contract armies. Well one day after visiting a doctor’s to discover how bad his back really is Mike is out protecting the President when they come under attack by drones. When he wakes up all of his team is dead, the President is in a coma and he is under arrest because they think he was the one who set it all up.
thing I think the film does very well is strong production work behind the
camera. This is one of those films where you really see what a talent a good
stunt coordinator needs to be to have action beats work as well as they did
here. As well as this, there was some really good use of light and colour to
push that feeling of isolation for Mike also in the big boom sections of the
films. There was a strong musical score, the editing was mostly fine bar a bit
at the start that was a little too frenetic, and there were some really good
locations used here.
When it comes to the story, this is where the film is a bit more predictable than I think they hoped it should be. Honestly, if you hired Danny Huston to play a military contractor, it would have actually been a legitimate surprise if he wasn’t the secret bad guy. Indeed most of the big plot twists and turns you will likely see coming a mile away. Also this is a film that touches on just about every major concern about the near future warfare, with drones, facial recognition, the dark web, private military companies, and Russia all thrown in the mix here. The addition of Russia is probably the one point that you have too really uses your suspension of disbelief on because there is no way they would be casually be going to war with another nuclear power like they seem to be doing here.
the film might be a bit predictable the action is still solid and more
importantly some of the themes they are exploring are really interesting. For
example there is the role of the military-industrial complex and how they need
war to stay profitable. There is also a less than subtitle dig at the current
state of conservative politics and how effective an armed militia really would
be against the trained American military. Finally, and I think more importantly
for this film is the toll war takes on the body and the soul. For Mike, all
those years of combat are catching up to him and for his father Clay (Nick
Nolte) that pain is only worse. Gerard does a really good job of showing that
pain and tiredness on his face and also the determination to push through when
he is needed.
In the end, do we recommend Angel Has Fallen? Yes, yes we would. The story is not going to be the real drawcard here, but the action is solid, it is exploring interesting themes, and the cast is at least having fun with the script. Or at the very least, they did not cut corners with the big booms.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow
Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV,
he’ll be talking about International Relations,
or the Solar System.
Have you watched Angel Has Fallen?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Angel Has Fallen
Directed by – Ric Roman Waugh
Story by – Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt
Screenplay by – Robert Mark Kamen, Matt Cook & Ric Roman Waugh
Based on – Characters created by Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt
Music by – David Buckley
Cinematography by – Jules O’Loughlin
Edited by – Gabriel Fleming
Production/Distribution Companies – Millennium Media, G-BASE, Lionsgate & Roadshow Films.
Starring – Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Danny Huston, Michael Landes, Tim Blake Nelson, Nick Nolte, Piper Perabo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Mark Arnold, Chris Browning, Antonio Bustorff, Frederick Schmidt & Joseph Millson
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 14A; Germany: 16; New Zealand: R; United Kingdom: 15; United States: R