ANGEL HAS FALLEN Is a Gripping Thriller, But Extreme Caution Is Advised
NOTE: This is a portion of our review of ANGEL HAS FALLEN, which is now in theaters. For the full review, including a breakdown of content, violence, sex, language and nudity, click here.
ANGEL HAS FALLEN is the third movie about a Secret Service agent protecting the President of the United States. In the new story, Agent Mike Banning must clear his name when he’s framed by a private military contractor for a vicious but failed drone attack on the President, who’s now lying in a coma. ANGEL HAS FALLEN is another gripping thriller, but it contains abundant foul language and some graphic action violence, so extreme caution is advised.
As the movie opens, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is suffering from Post-Concussion Syndrome. He’s having chronic headaches and trouble sleeping. Consequently, he’s not going to take the job of the director of the detail covering President Trumbull, even though the President is sure to appoint him soon because the current director is scheduled to retire in the next couple weeks.
Banning and the security detail protecting President Trumbull leave with the President for a fishing trip in nearby Virginia. The President is fishing on a 35-foot convertible fishing boat on a lake when Banning decides he needs to be relieved by another man. As Banning is taking a small motorboat back to shore, some unknown men in a van with electronic equipment launch a mass of weaponized drones over the lake. The drones start bombing and machine gunning the agents on the shore. Banning rushes back to the President’s boat, where the agent that replaced banner shoves the President into the water to get him to safety. Banning arrives just in time to protect the President underwater when a drone bombs the President’s boat, but the explosion knocks Banning unconscious and puts the President in a coma.
When Banning wakes up in the hospital, an FBI agent and the director of the President’s security detail inform Banning he’s being arrested. Banning’s DNA was found on the empty van that launched the drones. Also, an offshore account in Banning’s name has $10 million in it, and the government has traced the money to Russia.
As Banning is driven to a secure federal prison, the military contractor behind the drone attack, who also framed Banning, sends some of his men to attack the three-vehicle convoy and kill Banning. During the attack, Banning recognizes one of the men and escapes. Banning realizes the identity of the head of the group behind the assassination attempt on the President. So, the question becomes, can Banning evade the FBI and the country’s police in time to clear his name and expose the real bad guy?
ANGEL HAS FALLEN is another gripping thriller featuring Secret Service Agent Mike Banning, who’s played by Gerard Butler. Butler is perfectly cast as Agent Banning, and he gets wonderful support from a cast of veterans. Once again, Morgan Freeman plays President Trumbull, Danny Huston plays the military contractor, Nick Nolte plays Banning’s irascible father, Piper Perabo plays Banning’s wife, and Jada Pinkett Smith plays the head of the FBI team hunting for Banning. Though new to the series, Director Ric Roman Waugh manages this large cast and all the intense action scenes well.
ANGEL HAS FALLEN has a strong moral, patriotic worldview. The goal is to protect the President from a nefarious, selfish plot to remove him by the head bad guy and his men. Also, during the story, Agent Banning hides out with his estranged father, a Vietnam War vet who abandoned Banning and his mother. Eventually, Banning and his father reconcile. In addition, unlike his parents, Banning and his wife have a strong connection and have an infant daughter.
However, ANGEL HAS FALLEN has many strong obscenities. Also, the action violence contains graphic violence, including point blank shootings and scenes with people being bombed. There’s no reason for all this. The movie is rated R but could have been greatly toned down to achieve a PG-13 rating. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for ANGEL HAS FALLEN.