Angel Has Fallen review

Alessio Haro, Managing Editor

Warning: contains spoilers


The idea of a U.S. president being on the death list of a foreign organization seems like a clichė, throw-away idea for an action-adventure movie. However, when the perspective shifts from the president to his bodyguard, things might have a chance in getting a little more interesting. “Angel Has Fallen” (2019) takes a typical scenario and gives it a twist, in a humorous yet poorly executed manner once again with the third installment of the “Fallen” film series. 


As the child of “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013) and “London Has Fallen” (2016), “Angel Has Fallen” features the same main characters, setting, and basic plot of the other two movies. At the same time, the film displays a sense a uniqueness and delivers plot twists unlike its prequels. Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) acts as bodyguard and close friend to U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). On a fishing trip, the two discuss a promotion on behalf of Banning, but are quickly interrupted by dozens of drones firing at them and the surrounding Secret Service agents. Coincidentally, the two are the only survivors but remain in a coma in the hospital. U.S. Vice President Martin Kirby (Tim Blake Nelson) is sworn to act as president as Trumbull recovers. Upon waking up, Banning discovers himself accused for the attempted murder of the president. The movie follows Banning in his struggle for justice, and comes to show that even when the world is against you, all it takes is one person to make a difference; a moral that displays itself as very obvious.


Humor was one of the film’s stronger elements. In one case, Banning reunites with his long lost father, Clay Banning (Nick Nolte), who is a government-fearing outcast living in the woods of the northeastern U.S. Both Banning and his father fought in wars, and the humor is evident by means of the contrast between their fighting styles; more specifically when dealing with a group of intruders who confront them late at night. The reactions of sheer shock the son of Clay Banning displays is comical, as he watches his father burn down most of the surrounding forest to kill a few men. 


Although there is humor in “Angel Has Fallen”, its other elements lack to such a far extent that the cons outweigh the pros. One of the greatest flaws of this film was the overuse of profanity. Despite it being an R-rated movie, the amount of times the f-word was said was just simply distasteful. Every grievance was addressed with this word, and it was said so often that it became a pain to hear after the films two hour runtime. 


To add to the limited vocabulary, the film failed to portray relationships without making it cheesy or fake. Banning’s interaction with his wife, child and friends can be easily compared to a group of young children acting out a skit; the acting was elementary. For example, when Banning leaves his house for work, his wife, Leah Banning (Piper Perado), confronts him about being more open with her. It was obvious that the two actors have nothing in common, and didn’t make an effort to love each other as a husband and wife with a child would ordinarily do. This mistake doesn’t need any special analyzation; it can be identified by a prior knowledge of how humans would normally interact with each other subconsciously. 


“Angel has Fallen” was just another story featuring a Secret Service agent and his duty to protect the president. While differing from the two movies before it, “Angel has Fallen” still failed to be a third part to anything. Although the film has a handful of points that beat it down, few factors still kept it as a mediocre movie, with a rating of a C.