Gerard Butler in Angel Has Fallen

“Angel Has Fallen,” time to rest the franchise?

Gerard Butler reprises his role as secret service agent Mike Banning in the third installment of the “Fallen” film series, “Angel Has Fallen.” Banning is once again in a hot pursuit. This time around, he must save himself whilst attempting to keep the President of the United States alive.

Morgan Freeman also returns as Allan Trumbull. His now the president. He replaces Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart). Following the demise of Lynne Jacobs (Angela Bassett) in the previous film, David Gentry (Lance Reddick) is the Secret Service Director.

At the beginning of the film, Banning is suffering from migranes. He tries to suppress them using painkillers. He spends an evening with his former Ranger teammate, Wade Jennings (Danny Huston). Though good friends, one can see that they clearly have very different motivations.

Thereafter Banning accompanies the president on a fishing trip. It would be an ill-fated trip. There is a coordinated attack to assassinate President Trumbull and Banning is framed for it.

Meanwhile, Vice President Martin Kirby (Tim Blake Nelson) is sworn-in as President. Kirby is disturbed about filling the president’s shoes. And Nelson is convincing in his portrayal of a vice president who is unsure of himself.

The only surviving witness who can get Banning off-the-hook is unconscious. Hence, Banning becomes a fugitive to clear his name. Whilst on the run, he also needs to ensure that his wife Leah (Piper Perabo) and daughter at safe. However, events soon prove FBI Agent Helen Thompson (Jada Pinkett Smith) wrong. And President Trumbull’s life remains under threat.

“Angel Has Fallen” has perhaps a little less action than its predecessors “Olympus Has Fallen’ and “London Has Fallen.” It is understandable. Clearly, the stakes do not seem as high. There is no convergence of world leaders. More so, the ‘supposed threat’ to the president’s life is eliminated. Regardless, the visual effects in the final showdown was rather amateurish.

Butler and Freeman do their best with the material they are given. As does Lance Reddick. Reddick is pretty much as you know him in the John Wick franchise. As for Ms Pinkett-Smith, she gets the job done.

“Angel Has Fallen” is a different take on the franchise. But its premise is the usual tropes for action-thrillers. The most welcome addition to this film was Clay Bannings who is Mike’s father. The role was played by Nick Nolte and he is an absolute scene-stealer. And perhaps delivered the most memorable moments in the movie.

Although the film also relies less on action but more humour, it is an easily forgettable film. Hopefully, it brings the franchise to a close.



Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh

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

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About the author

A lover of the arts who sees film and television through the eyes of the Nigerian viewer.