Thursday, August 22, 2019

Angel Has Fallen (And Can't Get Up)

Gerard Butler returns as Secret Service Agent Mike Banning who was introduced in the dumb, and not really that much fun, Olympus Has Fallen. Things haven't changed much. The sequel frames the decorated agent as the mastermind behind the assassination attempt of the President (Morgan Freeman). Armed with circumstantial evidence, and ignoring the agent saving the President's life and his service record, a dimwitted FBI Agent (Jada Pinkett Smith) fingers Banning for the bad guy while his friends at the Secret Service do nothing to help. Luckily for our hero, the real villain is just stupid enough to not only fail to kill his patsy but also arrange for his escape allowing Banning to go on the run and attempt to clear his name.

Since it isn't much of a list, let's look at what works in the film. I'm always happy to see Piper Perabo who offers the film's best performance as Banning's wife, angry at him for keeping secrets about his health but not enough to believe her husband has become a terrorist. And second, there's Nick Nolte who is the only one having fun in this dog of a movie that takes the ridiculous events far too seriously.

I can forgive an action movie being dumb, but Angel Has Fallen is a nearly joyless affair that provides little of interest in the way of characters, plot, action scenes, or laughs. Perabo and Nolte are momentary lights in an otherwise bleak landscape which they cannot save on their own. Butler staggers through the film as if on cold medication, and the story (cobbled together by five writers) ranges from boring to inexplicable (there's actually a scene where multiple killers sneak into a house surrounded by cops, news crews, and the FBI, and no one notices - before or after multiple murders occur).

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