Formulaic ‘Fallen’ franchise remains on form

First, it was Olympus, then London followed suit, now the third film in the ‘fallen’ franchise takes aim at secret service agent Mike Banning in Angel has fallen.

Gerard Butler, of course, reprises his role as Banning- because you get the sense that without him there probably wouldn’t be another movie.

But the once seemingly invincible Banning has serious cracks showing. Finally, the years of countless explosions he’s endured are catching up to him. He’s plagued by headaches and virtually relies on painkillers just to do his job. These are all factors that force to him consider stepping up to Secret Service Director, a desk job that he’s reluctant to take.

Does he have what it takes to bring down the bad guys once more though? If you don’t know the answer to that then you’re probably not this film’s intended audience.

Framed for an assassination attempt on the President (now played by Morgan Freeman), the villains are as plain as the beard on Banning Senior’s face. If this is the kind of film you normally enjoy though, this won’t stand in your way of a couple of hours of mindless popcorn-munching.

Butler gives a reliably sound performance in the leading role, proving again that he can shoulder a film. As trusting President Trumbull, Morgan Freeman’s role is one he could do with his eyes closed, and he literally does for part of the film.

Radha Mitchell has been replaced as Banning’s wife by Coyote Ugly star Piper Perabo who plays the one-dimensional worried-wife well. Jayda Pinkett-Smith joins the cast as hard-ass FBI agent Johnson. And the almost unrecognizable Nick Nolte pops up in the role best described as the crazy comic-relief injection.

Gerard butler as mike banning in Angel has fallen

The sound effects in Angel has fallen are damn near deafening and they work beautifully in tandem with the score to create the heavy tension that the film relies on. 

The tone and pacing are consistent and there are almost enough huge fiery explosions and damagingly loud crashes to distract you from how terribly thin the story is.

angel has fallen movie review- stars jayda pinkett smith

It’s predictable but not boring. It’s a formula that’s worked before and one that will surely work again. It’s not original but it is reliable and for regular action movie-goers that may well be enough. If it ain’t broke… Enjoy the popcorn.

SEE IT if…

You enjoy predictable action movies


You aren’t afraid of bursting an eardrum


You hated Hobbs and Shaw


You haven’t seen 24

It gets 2.5 stars out of 5.

Not your thing? Read another review.

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