Angel Has Fallen

Angel Has Fallen Review: Pointless Sequel Can’t Get Up

Angel Has Fallen

Movie Rating:


If going through a checklist of action film clichés were a competitive sport, Angel Has Fallen would be the all-time world champion. The predictable plot, two-dimensional characters, and lust for guns are all tone-deaf overkill (pun intended).

The third Fallen film, behind the descension of Olympus and London, Angel refers to the “Guardian Angel” of the President. Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is the Secret Serviceman closest to the current President (Morgan Freeman). When an incident while fishing leaves POTUS in a coma and all but one of the Servicemen on the trip dead, the lone survivor is assumed to be in on the plot. Banning is that survivor, and he must escape imprisonment by his coworker and go on the run to prove his innocence. If only the President would awaken from his coma to clear Mike’s name and find the real bad guys.

Sound like something you’d expect from a right-leaning action film? Just you wait. There are also daddy issues aplenty and being-too-old-for-this-shit-itis in Banning’s spine. As he weighs his love for the job against the prospect of having the perfect family life, Banning must also hide out with his survivalist father (Nick Nolte, easily the best part of the whole movie and in need of far more screen time) and learn to forgive him for not being around for the past few decades.

While Banning certainly strives to be a classic action hero in the making, he’s slightly underwhelming. He’s no Jason Bourne or Ethan Hunt, and watching him triumph over the forces against him is proportionately diminished. This is not a master class in espionage or physical dexterity; it’s a pretty good officer do a pretty good job. He gets lucky more often than not, which makes it difficult to ever fully rally behind him.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a shoot-’em-up with explosions as much as the next cinephile. Unfortunately, Angel Has Fallen takes itself far too seriously to have any fun with the preposterous violence. Its blind patriotism and celebration of unchecked testosterone stops it from being something easy to embrace ironically. The trope of having good guys with an arsenal of guns now reads as tone deaf when there are no longer any real divisions between saviors and terrorists when they leave the same wake of death and destruction in their trails.

Ultimately, Angel Has Fallen will satisfy the audience that looks forward to these sorts of things. And by “these sorts of things,” I specifically mean uninspired, bland action films.


  1. njscorpio

    Why did they make this sequel? Was ‘London Has Fallen’ successful enough to warrant this? Or was there some sort of contract? The other two movies also suffered from a blandness. I even recall liking ‘White House Down’ more because of how over the top it was, with the whole rocket launcher/car chase on the White House lawn. It’s like they made sequels to the wrong series, we should have gotten a ‘London Down’ and ‘Angel Down’.

    • I think all of these movies do well enough overseas and in syndication/streaming that another one is expected to be profitable, even if it looks like a box office dud at first.

  2. Shannon Nutt

    I really liked Olympus Has Fallen, but London Has Fallen was AWFUL. However, it made $250 million worldwide against a $60 million budget (more than Olympus made globally), so it’s not shock they gave this franchise one more shot.

  3. Shannon Nutt

    I saw this over the weekend and thought it was just fine. I suspect a budget reduction was made to get this one filmed, and it shows. While there’s a lot of action, it pales in comparison to the action of the first two films. That said, this is also the most “realistic” of the three “Fallen” movies, with Banning a more aging, flawed hero than seen in the first two films.

    You may not want to rush and see this in theaters, but it’s worth a rental when it hits home video. I’d give it an additional star to the above review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *