Angel Has Fallen - This Been Here Before Movie Doesn't Rock
Dir: Ric Roman Waugh
Starring Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Piper Perabo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nick Nolte, Danny HUston, Tim Blake Nelson
Gerard Butler, surely the sleaziest near A-lister in town, is back for his third time as Presidential secret service man Mike Banning. And is it third time the charm? Oh, there’s nothing charming about this on any level.
After Olympus (aka the White House) and London (aka…well, London) both fell, now it’s time for Banning – aka President Morgan Freeman’s guardian Angel - get it??!! – to have his very own fall from grace. Accused of setting drones on the leader of the free world (oh, if only in real life!), he leads a movie that thrives on chaotic action sequences, which are inevitably over-edited within an inch of their life, the result being you’re never even vaguely involved. Witness a truck-based chase in which if anyone walks away from the resultant chaos – a) you don’t know who it is; and b) you don’t really give a shit.
And then, somewhat oddly, it all turns into The Fugitive for about 20 minutes.
Oh, and if you’re trying to work out who the bad guy is – feel free to go home after the first eight minutes tops!
And as for the ever-reliable Morgan Freeman – when was the last time he played someone that wasn’t either a President or the real actual God? (Your personal sense of faith allowing.) This time he manages to play a combo of both – in a fucking coma for most of the film. Talk about phoning it in!
In its favour, the movie comes alive – indeed, practically becomes another film altogether – whenever the redoubtable Nick Nolte is on screen, cast here as Mike’s estranged Vietnam vet of a dad and somehow managing to deliver everything required of him without resort to cliché. (And stick around for the mid credit sequence – the best – and only funny scene – in the whole movie.)
As the likes of John Wick and even Hobbs & Shaw push the boundaries of where the modern action movie can go, the “…Has Fallen” franchise is determined to mire things back in the days of useless yore. Things go bang – people get bored. It’s not so much old school, as let’s get the fuck out of school and go and do something more fun instead. Highly regrettable. For all of us.