MOVIE REVIEW: ANGEL HAS FALLEN

Angel Has Fallen is the third and latest film in the Fallen series, so how does this one hold up? Stuck together with one action scene after another that we've seen before, predictable and not worth the ride again. It's a basic action adventure film. Nothing new. OK for late night viewing at 1 am on Direct TV; Saturday night theater-excursion-popcorn- romp? No. Feels like a movie you've seen many times before.

Directed by Rick Roman Waugh, the storyline has authorities take Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) into custody after the failed assassination attempt of U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). Banning is Trumbull's trusted confident and on presidential protection. Trumbull was Speaker of the House in the original and VP in the sequel. He has now become President of the United States. Banning is wrongfully accused. He then escapes, evades the FBI, must outsmart them, and his own agency, to become a man on the run as he tries to find the real threat to the president. Looking for the truth, he turns to unlikely allies to help clear his name, protect his family, and save the country from danger. He heads across the US to clear his name. Trumbull is a man with integrity (think West Wing's Martin Sheen character) and is perfectly case with Morgan Freeman who does this role in his sleep.) Banning is then linked to what appears to be a Russian government-funded assassination attempt. Banning’s colleagues believe the story, even though he's being framed.

Problem is this all sounds exciting on paper, but nothing new here. It's a thrill-less thriller with a weak plot, weak writing, very distracting shooting techniques, and way too many close-ups. Translation, poor directing.

There's a good sequence in a Virgnia forest, where we see Bannon reunited with the father who abandoned him years ago, played by Nick Nolte, an old war veteran (perfectly cast) who brings weight to the role. Banning's wife is played by Piper Perabo and Jada Pinkett Smith is the hard-nosed  FBI agent.

Overall; unoriginal, poor CGI, formulaic script and uninteresting people to watch. Nolte is the only good thing about this movie (and I personally do not like him as I had an etched in my memory bad experience with him on a press junket 23 years ago where as I was interviewing him. He was rude and condecending to me for no reason at all. Happened when I was the news achor at Channel 13 here in L.A. and doing an interview for my half hour TV movie review entertainment show. As anchor and host of a freindly show, this behavior was unaccetable.) Today, I am not reviewing him as a man, rather a movie review  and his contribution to this film - and he is the best part of this movie!

 

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