Angel Has Fallen Review - A Solid Action Thriller

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Angel Has Fallen, from Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate, brings to the screen the third installment in the story of Secret Service Agent Mike Banning as he protects the President against all enemies domestic and international.

Directed and co-written by Ric Roman Waugh, Angel Has Fallen stars Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pickett Smith, Nick Nolte, Danny Huston, Piper Perabo, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael Landes, Sophia Del Pizzo, Mark Arnold, Chris Browning, and many other strong supporting actors.


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Angel Has Fallen opens in what appears to be flashback or an exercise with Banning, played by Gerard Butler, out manned and outgunned by a militia. In expected form Banning maneuvers through the obstacle course, surviving each threat, until he pops out the exit and is hit with a paintball.

The shooter who nails him, Wade Jennings, played by Danny Huston, is a former military buddy who now works for the US government securing military mercenary contracts. President Allan Trumball, played by Morgan Freeman, has maintained a strict policy of no outside contractors which has effectively dried up the business for people like Jennings.

With the Director of the Secret Service Gentry, played by Lance Reddick, retiring, it was expected Trumball will name Banning as the incoming director. An early morning fishing excursion has Banning and an 18- agent security detail, guarding the President at an unknown location.

In what should be an effortless assignment, as the President is on a boat, secured with agents on board, out of the sky what looks like a flock of bats, and is really facial tracking drones launched automatically and is honing in on the team and the president and with guided, tracking precision, the drones zero in on the agents attacking each team member.


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As the attack comes to an end, all 18 members of the President’s secret service detail are dead. Banning the President are the sole survivors. The FBI led by Agent Helen Thompson, played by Jada Pinkett Smith has enough circumstantial evidence to have Banning who is injured and cuffed to the bed charged in the attempted assassination of the president and the deaths of his security team.

With the President comatose, Vice President Kirby, played by Tim Blake Nelson, assumes the duties of the Presidency. One of his first acts is to initiate the use of military contractors.

Officially charged Banning was in transport to a military holding unit, when his three-car escort is hit. He is in shackles and mysteriously, again, all are killed as Banning escape. Regaining some control, he overtakes the team that kidnapped him and unmasked each of the men, remembering them from mercenaries from the obstacle course.

Free, with a small head start, and the world believing he orchestrated the attempted assassination of the President, Banning is left with few options. He is battered, physically a wreck, hasn’t slept, in addition to the fear of his wife and daughter, Leah and Lynne, will be taken or killed. The only place left is the one place he didn’t ever want to go to again.


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This is where the film moves into the final act. Angel Has Fallen, as the third installment, delivers exactly what one expects. The storyline hits all the points. What has changed, of course, is the prominent advancement in technology which really enhances the visuals and the storyline. The premise Is clear, we know the end of the story even during all the chaos, confusion, fighting and military, we know Agent Banning will survive. What we don’t know is the course to that end.

The film is fully loaded with long guns, firepower, explosives, drones and death and has made the threats appear authentic. With that the attacks, the mass shootings, and the use of automatic weapons and killings also appear real.

With Nick Nolte and Piper Perabo joining the cast, each bringing colors to Mike Banning’s character. Nolte seems to be made for his role and can convey a depth of feeling and emotion. Piper Perabo effortlessly moves into the role, delivering a solid performance as new mother and wife.

Butler, reprising Agent Banning for a third time, has built a solid character. He delivers a strong performance as one would expect.


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Angel Has Fallen is a solid action thriller. It is an all-American, stars and stripes, honor of the office, and allegiance to the constitution. Plenty of action, heightened suspense, and unexpected pop-ups around the corner. It opens Friday, August 23, 2019. See it.

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