Angel Has Fallen
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Writers: Robert Mark Kamen
Stars: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Nick Nolte, Piper Perabo, Danny Huston, Jada Pinkett Smith
Look… Nick Nolte rules. Nothing else I say in this review of Angel Has Fallen, the third in the Gerard Butler “Has Fallen” action series really matters. It doesn’t matter if I liked the movie, it doesn’t matter how it compares to the last two. All that matters is that you know that Nick Nolte rules, and if you see this movie, you will be entertained by every minute that he’s on screen.
So now that you know how great Nick Nolte is in Angel Has Fallen, what about the rest of the movie? It’s alright… I didn’t like 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen (the first in the series), skipped the second one and I’d say this was at least better than the first. Not just because of Nolte, but overall, it’s a lot more fun, filled with a few decent action scenes and some solid laughs along the way. It’s a crowd-pleaser, but one that does nothing original or unique. Still, if you just like a solid action movie, you’re bound to like it.
Gerard Butler is an interesting action star. He looks every bit of his age and seems uncomfortable through every minute of this thing (and not just because his character has back pain or something from the previous films). He just kind of hobbles through every action scene, never quite doing anything particularly exciting or impressive, but always surviving to best the bad guys… Bad guys whose identities you’ll see coming from the opening moments of the film (unless you’re the people at our screening who gasped in amazement at the hilarious and should-be obvious reveal). When Jada Pinkett Smith starts putting the pieces together, you know exactly how things will end for her.
Those kind of obvious twists and reveals and action moments are what a movie like Angel Has Fallen are all about. Shaky-cam action footage, explosions, high body counts despite the lack of gore (this is no John Wick despite the series reputation for being “head shot porn”). It’s exactly what you’d expect walking into an action movie like this.
None of which is a surprise. From the beginning, the “Has Fallen” series has been built on a foundation of action movie cliches, and Angel Has Fallen doesn’t really seem to want to do anything to escape them. But as I’ve already stated, if you’re up for an average action movie, you could do far worse. Plus Nick Nolte rules in this movie so hard… Make sure to stick around for the mid-credits scene.
Puzzle Pieces if we had done an episode: John Wick, Taken, Mission: Impossible