‘Angel Has Fallen’ is an awesome action-packed film - and Nick Nolte steals the show

#NativeNerd Movie review: Angel Has Fallen is an enjoyable bullet fest where Secret Service agent Mike Banning protects everyone's favorite President, Morgan Freeman

Authorities take Secret Service agent Mike Banning into custody for the failed assassination attempt of U.S. President Allan Trumbull. After escaping from his captors, Banning must evade the FBI and his own agency to find the real threat to the president. Desperate to uncover the truth, he soon turns to unlikely allies to help clear his name and save the country from imminent danger.

Though some critics have given the “Fallen” movie series a bit of a hard time, I don’t see what they’re seeing. I love these films. I love the action, I love the bombs, I love the armor-piercing bullets that fly at a dizzying pace. And I love Secret Service agent Mike Manning.

I also love Morgan Freeman as President Allan Trumbull. Of course, you can call him President Trumbull all you want, but to me, it was President Morgan Freeman. Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors ever, and in my view, he rarely does me wrong.

Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman as President Allan Trumbull - But I'm just going to call him President Morgan Freeman - Photo: Lionsgate Jack English

In the movie, Mike Banning is a Secret Service agent who has been such an exemplary agent in the Secret Service he works the coveted slot of guarding the president. He is the President's 'Guardian Angel' thus, the title of the film. 

Manning is also the go-to guy sought to train the elite which is showcased at the start of the film. Shortly after the film begins, Banning is offered the potential job of any Secret Service agent's lifetime, The president offers him a job as director of the agency. Because Banning is a field agent through and through, with his own life's issues, he struggles to come to terms with working behind a desk, and hesitates in accepting the position. he is a combat soldier, a roaming lion, so to speak. 

Enter, the attack drones that explode on impact during a heavily guarded presidential fishing trip. Everything goes south, after an explosion-filled morning, Banning becomes the victim of a setup and the world believes he is the man solely responsible for trying to assassinate the president. 

It is the world against Secret Service agent Banning, who wastes no time in fighting to stay alive and on the run in an attempt to prove his innocence.

Alone, half blown-up and exhausted, he seeks to find his long-lost father, that had previously abandoned the family due to his own combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder.

A bit cliché you might say? Absolutely. Forgivable to have such a cliché? Absolutely. Because the film doesn't stop delivering beautifully orchestrated chaos. 

Nick Nolte is hilarious as Banning’s long-lost dad, and I did not expect for this movie to have so much humor, but it was an excellent bit of refreshment in between bombs going off, trucks crashing into police cars, and the seriousness of the FBI seeking to find a presidential assassinate.

Nick Nolte
Nick Nolte is hilarious as Banning’s long-lost dad - Jack English/Lionsgate

With a bit of forethought, I’m certain something a bit out of the realm of being a cliché could have been created, but why? The “Fallen” movies which include Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and London Has Fallen (2016) are Great in their ability to deliver action, they deliver films filled with conflict, lots of bullets, different types of weaponry, grenades, helicopters, fighter jets and more which all come together to create exactly what I love in these type of movies.

Gerard Butler, who portrays Secret Service agent Mike Banning, is excellent. When he refers to his military past in the film, as a former US Army Lieutenant, I buy it a hundred percent. So much that I wonder if he was former military.

As I said, Morgan Freeman is my favorite, and Nick Nolte who plays Banning’s father continues to deliver one smart ass comment after another in hilarious fashion. I loved his character and loved every interaction with him and others in the film. I wasn’t alone in my appreciation, my laughter was never alone, I was always joined by countless others in the theater who thought it was just as funny as I did.

There were a few nice surprises in this film as well, I truly appreciated Jada Pinkett Smith’s Portrayal as FBI Agent Helen Thompson, who admittedly came across as a real jerk, but the exact type of jerk you would expect her to be in her position with the FBI. I also really enjoyed Danny Huston as the antagonist Wade Jennings from the Salient Agency. Huston, in my view, does an excellent job as any sort of “evil villian” or antihero in the films he has played.

There were a few twists and turns I didn’t expect and I appreciated being thrown a curveball. I wasn’t surprised when the proverbial “mystery person behind the computer voice” was revealed. But I am pretty good at making guesses at a film’s plot.

So in conclusion, I highly recommend this film if you enjoy hard action, bodies flying through the air due to explosions, armor-piercing rounds throwing people all over the place and buildings exploding with hundreds of people running for their lives.

It’s a great action film and worthy of the price of admission definitely check it out.

I give this film an 8.5 out of 10 for great action, great humor that was unexpected, and a nice hearty and satisfying conclusion.

And since I am now officially certified film and movie critic on Rotten Tomatoes I officially give this film a “Certified Fresh” rating.

P.S. Stick around for the first round of credits, there is an after scene.

Release date: August 23, 2019 (USA)
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Based on: Characters; by Creighton Rothenberger; Katrin Benedikt
Film series: Fallen Series
Budget: $80 million

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Follow the #NativeNerd, Vincent Schilling, associate editor for Indian Country Today on Twitter at @VinceSchilling
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Vincent Schilling is a certified critic on Rotten Tomatoes https://www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/vincent-schilling/movies

Email - vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com

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