Angel Has Fallen; Tab A goes into Slot B to produce a passable B-movie
Back in 2013 there were two films with similar themes: baddies invade the White House and a single Secret Service Agent has to save the President and the day. The better of the two was Roland Emmerich’s “White House Down”. The other one was Anton Fuqua’s “Olympus Has Fallen”. Little did we know but the “Fallen” trilogy was born. 2016 brought us the second installment in “London Has Fallen”, directed by Babak Najafi. Three years have passed and Aaron Eckhart is no longer President of the United States. His Vice-President, played by Morgan Freeman is now President and our titular Angel (Gerard Butler) is in charge of guarding him. Are you keeping up? Good.
This third installment sees Secret Service Agent, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler - he of wide-of-face), being framed for the attempted assassination of the President. He goes on the run to clear his name and bring down the bad guys led by a scenery-chewing Danny Huston. Look, we all know how these films end. We can tell from the start, so no spoilers when I say Gerard nails the bad guys and saves the day (and lines up the fourth installment!).
It’s by no means a bad film. It’s a passable B-movie. The steps in the film are a well-worn trope, almost to the point of stereotype. We can tell what’s going to happen long before it does. The only twist in the film is the introduction of a grizzled Nick Nolte as Butler’s Dad. The pair are clearly enjoying themselves. Nolte, (to paraphrase the late Barry Norman when he famously described Sylvester Stallone) let’s the words lethargically drip from his whiskered chin.
Get a big bucket of popcorn and settle back to enjoy the explosions and the Star Trek drone attack. It’s quite an enjoyable way to pass 121 minutes.