It is hard to believe that it has been six years since Gerard Butler introduced audiences to Special Agent Mike Banning. Over the course of the film and its sequel; Banning kept the President safe against a never-ending barrage of threats both home and abroad. For the new film “Angel Has Fallen”; Banning must protect a new President (Morgan Freeman) and clear his name when he is framed after a devastating attack on the President.
When he is suddenly the most wanted man in the country; Banning must use all his skills when he is abducted and subsequently escapes while be transported to a detention facility.
The movie takes a bit of time getting up to speed but wisely has some good action along the way to setup the film and increase the tension levels. Once the action revs up, it is full on pedal to the floor action with Butler throwing himself into the fray against heavy odds no matter the cost.
What makes this film stand out from the others is that narrative is more plausible than other action films and you do see Butler dealing with the results of his profession. This is not a Teflon Super Hero who has bullets bounce off his chest. This is a man who bears his physical and psychological scars from his years in service and has a hard time letting go of the work even though it is what he believes he is best suited for.
Morgan Freeman gives a very strong performance as does Nick Nolte who stole many of the scenes in which he was in and provided some real Wild Card comic relief and action to the film.
In the end it is Gerard’s picture and he throws himself into the part without becoming repetitive of his past films and giving Banning a relatable and sympathetic quality that is often lacking in films of this type.
In a summer of many films Over Promising and Under-Delivering: “Angel Has Fallen” is a refreshing exception as it was an enjoyable thrill ride from start to finish and I sure hope we have not seen the last of Agent Banning.
Review by garethvk