Gerard Butler has returned for the third and (thankfully) final installation of the “Fallen” series, “Angel Has Fallen,” rated R and released on August 23, as his own invincible secret service agent, Mike Banning. Though “Angel Has Fallen” wants to provide the harrowing and exciting tale of a battered, patriotic soldier being betrayed by his homeland, it delivers a cesspool of sloppy storytelling and confusing choreography not befitting of any of the big names attached to the production.
“Angel Has Fallen” takes place only a few months after its predecessor, “London Has Fallen.” While Banning and other secret service agents are protecting United States President Trumbull (played by Morgan Freeman, who spends most of his time in this film fishing and sleeping) on a fishing trip, dozens of drones attack the group, killing everyone except the two aforementioned characters.
Banning, with the help of his later-recruited, never-before-mentioned father, is then accused of masterminding the attack and must clear his name while avoiding the government. It may be semi-original for this series, but it certainly isn’t in general.
Mike Banning is portrayed as a wrinkled and faded man on the brink of retiring from a secret service agent protecting POTUS Trumbull to a desk job as the director of the secret service.
Well, he isn’t exactly “wrinkly and faded,” but he is popping pain pills for injuries sustained from previous “Fallen” movies. He also has PTSD and insomnia. While the idea of a cheesy action film hero mentally suffering from his recent escapades is a nice touch for characterization, his afflictions only exist when it’s convenient for him rather than when he is committing to the behavior that caused said afflictions in the first place.
When it comes to action sequences, “Angel Has Fallen” hopes viewers will be too distracted by over-the-top special effects to notice the actual lack of choreography and consistency during gunfights.
Even if director Ric Roman Waugh focused on semi-entertaining fights, the modernly overused shaky cam (shaking the camera to create a more intense and confusing mood) strikes hard, making any fight seem like it was recorded without a thought as to how it would look during post-production.
Though like most unoriginal, easily forgettable action flicks, I can at least take comfort in the fact that this trilogy has finally “Fallen,” and won’t be getting back up anytime soon.