Angel Has Fallen: Bodies, bombs and blood – another Gerard Butler ultraviolent shoot-em-up

Review: If you love ultraviolent Gerard Butler movies you will probably love this film

Gerard Butler’s character powers unrealistically through small armies and bullet hail in a way that makes most superheroes look like dying sloths

Film Title: Angel Has Fallen

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith. Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo, Nick Nolte, Danny Huston

Genre: Action

Running Time: 121 min

Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 17:46

   

Despite many poor notices, xenophobic underpinnings, and outrageous fear-mongering, the Has Fallen sequence has, to date, grossed more than $376 million worldwide, killing off many way-too-good-for-this-trash character actors (Angela Bassett! Noooo!) along the way.

Following on from the eye-watering Islamophobia of London Has Fallen – which clunked insensitively into multiplexes within months of the 2015 Paris terror attacks – the third film in this unlovely sequence concerns the enemy within rather than pesky armed foreigners. That’s some cause to be cheerful. So too is the appearance of Nick Nolte as a Unabomber-styled hermit. And that, alas, is where the fun ends.

If you haven’t been keeping up to date with the franchise, never fear, expository dialogue befitting a lesser episode of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo will soon get you up to speed.    

Clicking Noises.

What’s that Skip? Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is framed for an assassination attempt on President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) because of an expensive conspiracy engineered by a former chum (Danny Huston) and private military contractors? 

Shooting ensues. Explosions ensue. Bodies duly pile up. Butler’s character powers unrealistically through small armies and bullet hail in a way that makes most superheroes look like dying sloths. A token badass FBI agent (Jada Pinkett Smith) pops up to counter Piper Perabo’s thankless wife role. 

Clicking noises. 

Bechdel Test? You must be joking, Skip. 

The phrase “Never bring a knife to a gunfight” is radically undermined by a sequence that goes from machine gun fight, to pistol duel, to knife fight, to fisticuffs, to homoerotic frenemy moment. 

Late 90s John Woo might have been able to make something balletic from a workaday script co-written by the director. Instead we get scrappy post-Bourne framing and often unintelligible shoot-em-ups. 

If you love ultraviolent Gerard Butler movies, you will, to be fair, probably love this ultraviolent Gerard Butler movie. For everyone outside this demographic, this is a load of old Clicking Noises.