I’d like to tell you a fun story about when I saw Olympus Has Fallen. Don’t worry; it’ll be quick. I saw it at an advanced screening and, throughout the entire movie, someone in the middle section of the cinema was snoring rather loudly. I’m not sure why he wasn’t woken up or why you would attend a pre-screening just to sleep, especially when it’s as loud a movie as Olympus Has Fallen. But now, with hindsight, I get it. I, too, am tired of these movies, and have been since the first one ended. That man was just ahead of the curve.
Angel Has Fallen is the third movie starring All-American Hero Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), who has saved the President of the United States a couple of times, rather famously, and probably saved all of Washington DC, America, and even London as well, because he’s just so cool, you guys. This one has him framed for an assassination attempt, because that’s something the in-universe characters would totally believe, and have to fight his way to prove himself innocent over the span of 120 very dull minutes.
It requires a great suspension of disbelief that anyone who had paid attention to the last two movies would think Banning would turn heel for a few million dollars; he’s the living embodiment of patriotism, after all. He’s also getting up there in age and usage, which the film showcases somewhat prominently in an attempt to give him character but doesn’t do enough with the idea to factor into the story or even its action—except that the action scenes feel tamer than before. Less explosions, anyway.
Banning also gets to reunite with his estranged father (Nick Nolte), who shows up midway through and as far as I can remember is the first the series has brought up Banning’s daddy issues. (I could be wrong. These movies are not memorable in the least.) It’s that kind of plotting and “character development” that makes me wonder how anyone can enjoy these movies for anything more than stand-at-attention rah-rah propaganda. There’s no thought or planning; they just make things up when it’s convenient.
The last couple of the Fallen movies had decent action, and when that’s all they focused on, they were tolerable. You still had the awkward and too-patriotic-to-be-healthy plotting, but at least you could sometimes ignore that and watch Gerard Butler engage in some fun murdertime. Angel Has Fallen has a lot less of that. The climax is so dull that it might make you wish you were in a coma, which is how Morgan Freeman as The President spends most of the film. Even action junkies who can ignore the massive flaws in the franchise are going to get fatigued and bored by this one.
I haven’t taken enough shots at Gerard Butler’s American accent yet so I’m going to do so in the most direct way possible. Ahem. Gerard Butler is bad at doing an American accent, making him the epitome of Americanism is laughable. The rest of Angel Has Fallen isn’t bad enough to produce enough of an emotional response to generate laughter. Much like the clairvoyant gentleman who slept through the first chapter, this is a movie that’s more likely to induce a nap than get the blood pumping.
Conclusion: Angel Has Fallen is too boring to even fall into the so-bad-it’s-good category of movies.
Recommendation: Even if you sat through the last two Fallen movies, it’s hard to imagine getting much from Angel Has Fallen.