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August 30, 2019

Angel Has Fallen (2019) --- “Fallen, Framed, And Forced to Fight for His Life… His Loyalty Is Under Fire”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     When there is an assassination attempt on U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) by bomber drones during a fishing trip, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is wrongfully accused and taken into custody. After escaping from custody, Banning becomes the most wanted man in the nation and must use his skills to evade and outsmart law enforcement in order to uncover the truth. In desperation, Banning takes risks by turning to unlikely allies to help clear his name and save the country from imminent danger. But can he prove his innocence in time to save the President from the real threat? Or will he be too late?

     Directed by Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch, Greenland), and written alongside Robert Mark Kamen (Taken series) and Matt Cook (Triple 9, Patriots Day), Angel Has Fallen (2019) is an epic action film that is the third and possibly final installment in the Fallen series. The plot reminds me of the 2007 film Shooter starring Mark Wahlberg because both follow a man, usually with unique skill sets, who is later framed for an assassination attempt on a high-standing character and must go on the run in order to prove his innocence and stop an imminent threat. Due to the incredible execution of the action sequences, camerawork, and character arcs, the film is able to set this story apart from similar stories of its kind. The story is interesting and offers some twists that, while not entirely unpredictable, are layered and followed through to the end. 
     Also, there are a few new elements added to the story. One is in the form of the unexplored relationship between Mike and his father Clay (Nick Nolte). And the second is the attention placed on how Banning’s job takes a considerable toll on his body, which is now starting to catch up to him after many years of service. The damage sustained to a hero’s body over time is something that is often ignored in action films but here it is something that they address wholeheartedly here and made his character more relatable; more human. All in all, while this does not mean that this film is perfect, one cannot help but appreciate the efforts put in. 
     The cast performances were once again solid throughout. Gerard Butler once again gives a great performance but as I mentioned before, this time he shows the audience the Banning’s age and how his job has taken both a physical and mental toll on him. Morgan Freeman brings along his wisdom, just like he did in the first two films, and Nick Nolte (The Mandalorian) delivers a good and comical performance as Mike’s dad. I believe that Piper Perabo (Covert Affairs, Cheaper by the Dozen 1 & 2) was a better choice to play Mike’s wife Leah because her realistic expressions provided a solid and heart-winning performance. Jada Pinkett Smith (Girls Trip, Gotham) does a good job but doesn’t look very happy, Lance Reddick (John Wick series) deserves better use of his screen time, and Danny Huston (Wonder Woman) provides the story with a bad guy that you surprisingly cannot fully hate. In fact, by the end, you may even come to sympathize with him a bit. 
     Overall, Angel Has Fallen (2019) is an entertaining and action-packed film that, should the series decide to end here, is a worthy end to the series. The story is predictable but the effort put in is appreciated, and the cast performances were solid but there were a few that deserved better utilization of their characters. All in all, while this does not mean that this film is perfect, one cannot help but appreciate that it did what it set out to do. I highly recommend this film, especially if you fans of the previous two films or you enjoy high-octane action film such as this one.

Final Vote --- 8 of 10 stars

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