Angel Has Fallen (AU - MA15+/UK - 15/US - R)

In A Word: Unnecessary

Angel Has Fallen

Gerard Butler stars as Mike Banning in 'Angel Has Fallen'.

Angel Has Fallen is the third in the series which began with Olympus Has Fallen in which the White House was attacked, followed by London Has Fallen in which London was overrun by terrorists. This time, it is not an iconic location, but heroic secret service agent and “guardian angel” to the president, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), that falls from grace.

"There is a thinly-veiled message about overcoming struggles and not giving up under any circumstances - whether it be within the family or against hordes of assassins. Whatever noble message of perseverance that exists here, however, is overshadowed by the humdrum plot, poor visual effects and forgettable locations."

After the heroic rescues of the former president in the two previous films, Mike Banning begins this chapter as President Trumbull’s (Morgan Freeman) trusted bodyguard. When a devastating assassination attempt is made on the President, Banning is framed as a traitor and now on a mission to discover the real villains and clear his name. 

True to the pedigree of the prequels, the credibility of the plot has always strained the limits of believability. The paper-thin plots of Olympus and London were excused somewhat by the spectacle of action and explosions that occurred at beloved landmarks. Curiously, Angel Has Fallen avoids any recognisable locations. The action instead occurs at generic places such as a forest, a gas station, a hospital and an office building. Furthermore, the explosive action that this series is known for suffers from second-rate special effects with the explosions and destruction looking obviously fake in many instances.

In an attempt to add another layer of drama, Angel Has Fallen introduces Mike’s estranged father, Clay Banning (Nick Nolte), into the mix as a burnt-out Vietnam veteran. Surprisingly, Nolte brings a dose of much needed humour and a touch of emotional family drama into the otherwise predictable plot. The father and son team not only fight together against the heavily armed mercenaries but also battle their psychological problems of stress and abandonment.

There is a thinly-veiled message about overcoming struggles and not giving up under any circumstances - whether it be within the family or against hordes of assassins. Whatever noble message of perseverance that exists here, however, is overshadowed by the humdrum plot, poor visual effects and forgettable locations. True to the name of the film, this "Angel" has indeed fallen, and unfortunately, all the punching, shooting and pyrotechnics that follow are not enough to redeem it.