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Angel Has Fallen | Average Guy Movie Review

When Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is framed for an attempt on President Trumbull's (Morgan Freeman) life, he must go on the run in order to prove his innocence. But with law enforcement and the real attackers on his trail, Banning must turn to the last person he'd choose, for help. The question is; can he expose the conspirators in time to save the President?

The Scottish/American hero is back once again to save the President, only this time it's his turn to fall - from grace that is. If Olympus Has Fallen is Die Hard in the White House, and London Has Fallen is basically Die Hard 2, Angel Has Fallen is definitely The Fugitive. For the most part it is another instalment in the Mike Banning on the war path franchise, but director Rick Roman Waugh has at least tried to change things up with Angel. More importantly, he has dialled back the cheese. Olympus was cheesy, London took it to an unnecessary level, so it was quite refreshing that Banning isn't spouting cheesy one-liners every other minute. In fact, his health issues - a result of his action-packed career - actually serve to humanise him a little.

Rick Roman Waugh may have toned down the cheese, but there is still a rather annoying element of uber American hoorah to this. Thankfully though, Butler's performance isn't quite so over-the-top macho as before. None of the supporting cast - bar Morgan Freeman - return this time, Piper Perabo takes over the role of Leah Banning from Radha Mitchell. And with a whole host of new characters, it's not hard to figure out who the bad guys are and they're motives. Shocking as it may seem, the whole plot is pretty predictable. It is a shame however, that with an army of bad guys running around, Jada Pinkett Smith and her FBI team are simply left to follow the wake of destruction left by Banning and his enemies.

That said, Angel Has Fallen certainly delivers on the action front - despite only having a $40 million budget (Olympus had a $70 million budget). From the initial attack, to Banning's escape and beyond, this is the action thrill ride you'd expect of a movie in this franchise. What sets this apart from the previous instalments is Nick Nolte as Banning's father. He's a kooky Vietnam war veteran, disillusioned with his government, he likes to live off the grid. These two may lead very different lives, but Mike Banning is very much his father's son. Butler and Nolte have perfect chemistry, and their relationship is a source of great comedy, it's what makes Angel Has Fallen so much fun.

Angel Has Fallen is exactly what it says on the tin; gunfights, car chases, explosions. It's a silly, fun action movie that doesn't try to be anything more than what it is. Sure it's a tad predictable, but does it really matter with movies like this? It's not quite as good as Olympus Has Fallen, but it is leagues better than London Has Fallen - mostly thanks to a reduced cheese factor, and Nick Nolte.


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