Get back up


By Paul Hall

The United States Secret Service has been a longstanding beacon of protection for our president, among others. But what happens when one of the smartest agents responsible for guarding the commander in chief turns against him?

First it was the White House in 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen. In 2016, it was London’s turn in London Has Fallen. Now, in 2019, experience what happens next in the new film Angel Has Fallen.

Three distinct action films, one common thread — Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). In Angel Has Fallen, Banning plays a trusted confidant of President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). When there is an assassination attempt on Banning’s watch, he finds himself the FBI’s prime suspect and on the run for not only his reputation, but also his life.

FBI agent Thompson (Jada Pinkett Smith) works to get to the bottom of the case while Banning searches for anything and everything to help him clear his name. The road to freedom includes friends and enemies and will be riddled with gunfire. For Banning to survive, it will take everything he knows and every friend he has.

This being the third film in the series, it was obvious what was coming for viewers: Nonstop action and ultraviolent conflicts around every corner would lead us to some resolution before our roughly two hours would end.

Butler commands the screen as he goes through the paces of trying to clear his character’s name. But the really great part of this film is Butler’s costars performing at the top of their game.

Freeman, Pinkett Smith, Danny Huston, Nick Nolte and Tim Blake Nelson are just a few of the talented actors along for the ride. It was a pleasure to see Nolte back on the screen in a role that was a perfect fit.

A late plot twist or two prevent what was a very predictable story from leaving that stale taste in your mouth.

I liked this outing, flaws and all. The Mike Banning character is one of an ordinary man doing extraordinary things, an aspiration of many. Although the violence is mainly over the top and the amount of ammunition used here could start a small war, the personal side of this action film makes it a winner to me. We all fall; it’s getting back up that defines us and makes us winners. Get back up and out to see Angel Has Fallen.

Paul’s Grade: B-

Angel Has Fallen
Rated R
Stars: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Danny Huston
Director: Ric Roman Waugh

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Don’t Let Go
Rated R
Stars: David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Byron Mann
Director: Jacob Estes
A detective gets a shocking call from his niece. One problem: she was recently murdered. Now the two must work together, across time, to try and solve the girl’s murder before it can happen again.