The action movie star has always been a rare beast, one it seems that is hard to find younger versions of. The search has been hard, but often the wolf we get turns out to be a sheep and it sends everyone back to find the old guard who helps make our cinematic action dreams come true. I myself really have no problem with this, I mean some of these stars have been doing it for almost forty years and with the help of CGI they don’t have to do the things that they did all those years ago. (And as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood reminded me, I do sorely miss the era of the stuntmen) Look I mean action movies are still fun, that good old fashion sit and watch things go boom kind of fun, but they lack that hero we want to save us, and what we get is a guy we just pat the head of and say, “good job”.
Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) deserves a big thank you from the world. After saving the President of the United States he then saves London, yes that London. I mean it seems like this guy is a magnet for people trying to kill other people. All that saving the world though has taken its toll on Mike and he is suffering from some physical problems from being a hero. Mike though is not someone to admit things and he is still on the job protecting the President even though he is not one hundred percent. While he might not be all together he can still do his job, so when President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman ) is targeted he still finds a way to save the day. This time though he is not given a hero’s welcome instead he is accused of planning the whole thing. When a plan to capture him goes wrong Mike escapes and sets out to clear his name, all that is in front of him is everyone good and bad all trying to stop him from doing what he needs to get done.
I have not hated the Fallen series of films, which includes Olympus Has Fallen , London Has Fallen, and now Angel Has Fallen, they are serviceable action movies. What they aren’t are smart action movies that serve a purpose, but instead rely on grunt work to get you through it. With Angel the story shifts a little and it puts on its thinking cap on, only to realize it looks stupid in a hat and goes back to heavy lifting.
The story wants to make Banning more like Dr. Richard Kimble so much so, the advertising of the film calls Butler ‘hero’ then ‘fugitive’ but it seems to give up the puzzle solving and it pretty much tells you who is doing what to whom. When it comes to action movies you always got to do something better and bigger than anyone else, or at least what was done previously in the series. Yeah it has a cool moment with some drones, but you won’t leave thinking you just saw something original, because we saw Spider-Man fight drones just a few months ago.
The cast is good and I was say that this might be the best of the series, because it at least tries to make thought as important as actions. But seeing Butler dodge CGI mayhem leaves little to the imagination. Being the best of something average doesn’t say much, but hey things do go boom and we all for the most part like that. Don’t we?