HOLLYWOOD—I thoroughly enjoyed the 2013 flick “Olympus Has Fallen,” the follow-up “London Has Fallen” was not bad, and now we have our third entry “Angel Has Fallen.” Gerard Butler returns as U.S. Secret Service Agent Mike Banning, who is on another mission to save the country, but at the same time clear his name in the process.
It is apparent from the writers that Mike is not the same Mike from the first two flicks. He is aging, he is not as sharp as he once was and the audience sees that. I will admit the narrative from this third installment is a bit stale, and doesn’t bring much originality to the forefront. It’s simple: Mike is framed for the deaths of several people and an attempt on the murder of President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). With FBI Agent Helen Thompson (Jada Pinkett Smith) on his tail, Mike finds himself in hiding, and working to prove his innocence.
Mike has a formidable foe in Wade Jennings (Danny Huston), a former colleague and friend. Mike teams with his estranged father, Clay (Nick Nolte) to help clear his name. I like this dimension because it gives the audience a bit of a backstory for Mike. We learn a lot of the tricks that he has utilized as a Secret Service agent he learned from dear ole dad.
So what makes “Angel Has Fallen” a success? It is exactly what it totes itself to be: an action-flick. There are tons of shootouts, car chases, hand-to-hand combat and explosions galore. I love a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is not afraid to give the audience exactly what they came into the theater expecting. I mean would you want to see a movie that is completely different than what you’ve come to expect from it.
The action element never lets up for the audience and that is always an exciting thing to keep the audience glued to their theater seat. Nolte delivers a solid performance, and Butler does Butler. Are we seeing an extension of the actor’s capabilities? Not so, but this is the archetype the actor is known to play, so what you see is what you get. Smith, Tim Blake Nelson, Freeman and Huston round out the supporting cast of this popcorn flick.
Could I see another installment in the franchise? Without a doubt, and considering its box-office performance in recent weeks, don’t be surprised if Butler returns yet again to save the country. The only question I have is what title the film will be given? All I know is it will have “Fallen” in the title somewhere.