Gerard Butler returns once again as secret service agent Mike Banning in this third entry in the ‘fallen’ series. The first movie, Olympus Has Fallen (not to be confused with White House Down, the Channing Tatum movie which was also released in 2013 and also covered a similar plot!) saw Banning trapped in the White House during a terrorist attack. It had an enjoyable Die Hard feel to it, and a sequel was inevitable. London Has Fallen (2016) saw Banning venture to London for the funeral of the Prime Minister and becoming involved in a terrorist plot to assassinate the world leaders who were in attendance. Not quite as good as Olympus, losing that enclosed claustrophobic setting from the first movie, but it was still a fun piece of action.
Which brings us to Angel Has Fallen. That angel being Mike Banning, guardian angel to President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) who has now been promoted from vice president in the last movie. Mike is starting to feel the strain of old age and his years of being a hero and one man army – insomnia, a reliance on pills, migraines. His secret service colleagues, even the president, are noticing his health issues and his doctor plainly tells him “You’re a disaster waiting to happen”!
This time round, the terrorist attack comes in the form of a swarm of drones, which appear in the skies over the lake where the president is fishing on a boat. Taking out the secret service team on protection duty, both the president and Banning are forced into the water in order to try and avoid being blown to pieces. But, instead of being hailed a hero once again, Banning is now accused of masterminding and orchestrating the attack and it becomes clear that he is being setup, forcing him to go on the run in order to try and clear his name.
Once again, it’s all ridiculous crowd pleasing stuff. Some elements make absolutely no sense whatsoever, and it’s not exactly difficult to work out who the bad guys are right from the offset – hell, the trailer even gives one of them away! The action for the most part is fairly enjoyable, although it does suffer from the occasional bit of dodgy CGI and there are moments of dark close-up action – quickly edited, shaky camera work, which make it frustratingly difficult to work out what on earth is going on at times.
As with London Has Fallen, we lose that claustrophobic and confined Die Hard action once again, giving us something more alike to The Fugitive and a poor mans John Wick 3. But overall, it’s still an enjoyable ride, with a fun cameo from Nick Nolte as Mike’s long lost father and a third act which actually delivers.