ANGEL HAS FALLEN – Review by Susan Granger

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

The third installment in this generic franchise, starring Gerard Butler as gruff Secret Service agent Mike Banning, is saved by Nick Nolte’s performance as Clay, his estranged Vietnam vet father.

Three years after London Has Fallen, Mike Banning could be promoted to Director of the Secret Service under U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). Yet, despite his dependency on pain-killers and devotion to his wife Leah (Piper Perabo) and toddler daughter, Banning isn’t sure he wants the desk job.

But when a flock of lethal drones with face-recognition software target the President on a fishing trip, leaving him in a coma, and Banning is the only survivor on his security detail, FBI agents Thompson (Jade Pickett Smith) and Ramirez (Joseph Millson) suspect Banning, who is subsequently arrested for the assassination attempt.

Escaping from custody, Banning is determined to uncover the truth and clear his name. That involves domestic terrorism and dealing with mercenaries employed by Salient, a Blackwater-like contractor firm, headed by Banning’s scheming Iraq war buddy, Wade Jennings (Danny Huston), who claims: “War is deception.”

Meanwhile, there’s Russia’s alleged election involvement by Vice President Martin Kirby (Tim Blake Nelson), who becomes acting President, ominously asserting that he wants to “make American strong again.”

When Banning goes off-the-grid, he winds up with his gun-toting, geezer father in the woods of West Virginia. Scruffy survivalist Clay is so paranoid that he’s booby-trapped the surrounding forest to fatally deter unwanted visitors.

Co-written and directed by former stuntman Ric Roman Waugh, it’s filled with fast-paced action. Problem is: the predictable plot – credited to Robert Mark Kamen, Matt Cook and Waugh – is not only implausible but often incoherent.

And there’s a fanciful Butler/Nolte scene midway through the concluding credits.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Angel Has Fallen is a forgettable 5, except for its Eisenhower-era warning about America’s never-ending wars and reliance on mercenaries…i.e.: the military/industrial complex.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.