‘Angel Has Fallen’ Review: A Deranged Nick Nolte Meets Hollywood’s Laziest Action Franchise

IndieWire | 8/21/2019 | Staff
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No, you don’t need to have seen “Olympus Has Fallen” and/or “London Has Fallen” to understand the eminently disposable third chapter of the Mike Banning chronicles. It’s not that complicated: Gerard Butler is an elite Secret Service agent with a heart of gold and a face of raw meat, he’s saved the free world a couple of times over the last few years, and he’s forced to do it again. On the contrary, the only prerequisite for enjoying “Angel Has Fallen” — or at least for appreciating the essence of its potential appeal — is a fond nostalgia for old-school action movies.

You know, the steroidal stuff that Hollywood churned out back when men were men, explosions were the only special effects that mattered, and the President of the United States going into a coma wasn’t the best thing that could possibly happen to national security. Even in its best moments, the latest episode of Butler’s low-rent franchise is nothing more than a feeble attempt to refurbish 20th-century shoot-em-ups with 21st-century anxieties. With some actual craft, a pinch more personality, and even a single moment that didn’t feel like it was watered down from 100 better movies, “Angel Has Fallen” might have felt like a fond homage to a bygone era of blockbuster spectacle. Instead, it brings a mediocre series to a fittingly mediocre close, and sends the summer movie season running away with its tail between its legs.

Butler - Afraid - Archetype - Role - Agent

Butler, who seems almost deathly afraid of deviating from his archetype, reprises his iconic role as Agent Banning, a character defined by two things above all: His born-and-raised Americanness, and a barely concealed Scottish brogue. But Mike, like the genre his movie belongs to, is getting a bit long in the tooth. After surviving the uselessly shaky action sequence that opens “Angel Has...
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