‘Angel Has Fallen’ continues the series’ downward tumble

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ar15-guns-marksmanship-rifle-1301975 / akeem jones / Pexels / Public Domain

“Angel Has Fallen” struggles with its lighting, with many scenes being too dark to follow what happens.

Ric Roman Waugh’s “Angel Has Fallen” is a movie that has no reason to exist.

While the action movie genre is being pushed forward by films like “John Wick” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Angel Has Fallen” falls short of these standards in every way.

It was released on Aug. 21, 2019, and was met with mediocre reviews from critics. It’s the third installment in the “Fallen” series, following the protagonist, Mike Banning, played by Gerard Butler. If there’s a stereotype about an action movie hero, Butler’s character fits it; he’s ex-military with injuries while still maintaining contact with his old military friends, and the list goes on.

Other performances also fell flat, like Morgan Freeman, who played the President of the United States. His only role in the film was to be the target of a terrorist attack, making it feel like his talent was underutilized. His presence never commanded the attention of the viewer because he was always in the background of the scenes.

The rest of the characters only exist to further develop the plot or to give Banning someone to protect. His wife and daughter spend the entire movie either being kidnapped or threatened and, because the movie lacks character development for both of them, the viewer has no reason to care. Additionally, the villain, Wade Jennings, played by Danny Huston, feels like an exact copy of any other action movie villain, only ever appearing during action scenes.

The action itself is another area where the film lacks; every scene can be boiled down to two groups of people shooting at each other. The few potentially interesting action scenes are so dark that the viewer can’t tell what’s happening, something that isn’t helped by the editing style. “Angel Has Fallen” takes the easy route in editing its fight scenes, with a cut every second or so. This makes the action feel choppy and is a sign of a poorly shot film, as it depends on the quick cuts instead of a long take, which is harder but, when done correctly, makes the action feel fluid.

While people who have watched the first two installments of the series might want to watch this movie to complete the trilogy, it isn’t worth it. Reviews for the first film, “Olympus Has Fallen,” were poor, and they have continued to get worse.

Watching “Angel Has Fallen” is like buying plain vanilla ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. It’s not awful, but there’s a better choice out there for everybody, no matter what kind of movie (or ice cream) they prefer.
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