A Late Summer Action Surprise
The summer has been brutal for many franchises. Whether it is from a critical, commercial point of view or, in many cases, many popcorn films intended to deliver the goods simply could not be suspended at the time. Summer 2019. As we enter the final weeks of the season, we are treated to a final franchise inscription in the form Angel Has Fallen who succeeds Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen, with Gerard Butler back as a secret service agent, Mike Banning. At the third entry in the mid – level franchises, it 's a pretty little surprise by the end of the summer. after an assassination attempt against President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). Banning manages to escape the jail, but he is then locked in a game of cat and mouse with the FBI and the secret service, the most wanted man in the nation. Desirous of discovering the truth and clarifying its name, our hero resorts to unlikely allies to help bring to justice those who have done it and to save the country from a major threat.
Part of what is happening with franchises such as that is that they do not seem to be able to break the formula. They are stuck in a rut. London Has Fallen and Olympus Has Fallen have certainly followed a formula. Angel Has Fallen meanwhile, breaks completely the mold defined by the two previous entries. The character of Mike Banning shows a lot of growth and struggle. Instead that a hero simply needs to save the situation, he is a fleeing hero. It's not just bad guys terrorizing a place against a single man's army. It looks like a completely different and fresh entry and does not suffer the same fate as movies such as Taken 3 .
Of course, there is still a ceiling for a film like this. This is not John Wick . It does not break the ceiling. Yet it is, for my money, very entertaining, balances humor with a very solid action and, believe it or not, manages to have an emotional impact and also has something to say. What to ask for more than a mid-budget action film with Gerard Butler? On this note, it is easy, sometimes, to give a guy like Butler a flack. He can get off the rails ( Den of Thieves ), as fun as it is. Here we are reminded that Butler absolutely commits himself whenever he is in a movie and this time it works pretty well. Butler is clearly in his comfort zone.
Gerard Butler does not do it alone. This entry has by far the best distribution of support among the three films, with a set that includes characters such as Danny Huston and Tim Blake Nelson, as well as back members such as Morgan Freeman, Lance Reddick and Piper Perabo. However, it's Nick Nolte who steals the show and, surprisingly, delivers what could be his best performance since 2011 Warrior . Jada Pinkett Smith is also a very welcome addition.
One of the things that helps with a third entry, often, is to bring new blood. In this case, it's Ric Roman Waugh, stuntman turned filmmaker, who occupies the director's chair. The eye of Waugh for action is obvious here and he also has the gift of being paced. Let people say what they can about a movie like this, but it's not really boring. Once things happen, they do not stop. Waugh brings a totally different perspective on the show and picks up Mike Banning's character from what we had seen before. This helps this entry to feel a little more mature and not to go to the act.
Of course, this film is far from perfect. It loses some points to be predictable, but if it's the biggest sin committed by a movie like this, is it really such a bad thing? In my mind, although it's certainly subject to debate as to its position in the standings, I think it's fair to say that with this latest outing, Mike Banning has earned his place among the hero icons of action. If you are looking for a thrillride of popcorn last summer, this may be enough. Angel is missing is entering the hall this weekend from Lionsgate.
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