The third movie in the series about Secret Service officer Mike Banning is called “Angel Has Fallen.” He’s the angel, the president’s guardian angel.
As in 2013’s “Olympus Has Fallen” (set mostly in the White House) and 2016’s “London Has Fallen,” Banning is played by Scotsman Gerard Butler. Butler has a nice sense of humor that helps all three of these nonsensical action pictures.
“Angel” begins with the physically broken-down Banning visiting the huge campus owned by a military “contractor.” Here this means the company contracts with the government to send mercenary troops into war zones.
The company is run by an old pal of Banning’s. Jennings is played by Danny Houston, whose face moviegoers will quickly recognize, just as they do the mugs of Piper Perabo (playing Banning’s wife), Nick Nolte (playing his father), Morgan Freeman (playing the president), Jada Pinkett (playing a high ranking FBI agent), and the versatile Okie Tim Blake Nelson (playing the vice president). These guys have all been the stars of their own films.
Jennings visits the Banning house for a meal and confesses that the current administration is not hiring a lot of mercenaries. Back at the White House, the prez is complaining about a so-far unidentified leaker of significant information.
Then the Angler in Chief heads out to some remote river to do a little fishing. Banning leads the team of Secret Service agents ordered to protect the old man. But while he and Banning are out in the boat, someone launches waves of drones at the president.
Actually the drones, which turn into missiles, first hit all the security agents along the shore. Then they go after Cabin Cruiser One. Banning gets the president into the water and the two of them survive the attack.
But Mike is then arrested. Somebody has put $10 million in an “off-shore account” in his name and has completed the frame with a few other suggestive details. The viewer immediately guesses this is the work of Jennings. But he seems to be taking over-the-phone orders from Deep Throat.
As if this weren’t all wildly implausible so far (I mean, why kill all the Secret Service agents?), then the veep is sworn in as president. Remember, the actual chief executive officer is alive in an area hospital. He’s unconscious, but the president is unconscious every day for at least eight hours and we don’t swear in his successor then.
Vice President Kirby, noting that the ten mil seems to have come from Russia, begins to reverse a lot of his forerunner’s policies. The U.S. will again be hiring “military contractors.” Oh, somebody’s plot is going swimmingly.
But Mike escapes during prisoner transport. This stuff would be unbelievable, except that over the past few years the FBI has failed to maintain much credibility with the public. Wild chases ensue. The chases are usually better than the fights in this film. The fights are filmed from too close up in too little light.
Our hero dopes out most of the grumbly talker’s plot. Then Banning enlists his dad for assistance while he himself drives right up to the hospital to warn the now awakening president that a new threat is on its way.
The movie is loaded with nonsense. For example, the FBI agent who wants to grab Jennings only takes one agent and a helicopter pilot with her when she goes to his property. Remember the hundreds of agents the feds sent to Ruby Ridge? There the only crime was failure to appear.
Still, movie nonsense is acceptable so long as the action is quick and steady. And if “Angel Has Fallen” is dumber than were the first two movies in the series, it isn’t a lot dumber. And it is just about as action-packed.