FILM REVIEW: Angel Has Fallen is 2 hours of solidly OK entertainment

Gerard Butler plays super-agent Mike Banning in the new movie Angel has Fallen. Simon Varsano Photo

There’s a certain comfort to watching predictably mediocre movies that can’t be overlooked.

Like a Hallmark Christmas movie where you know before turning it on that a lonely, single father (bonus points if widowed) will inevitably meet a sweet teacher/veterinarian/soap maker (job is irrelevant) at the Christmas fair while snow gently falls and they end up sharing a cup of hot cocoa, which leads to them becoming friends, which leads to them spending Christmas together because even though they only met three days ago, neither of them have plans — so why not?

During that Christmas they will inevitably end up under the mistletoe and the child will point it out and make them kiss, at which point they’ll both stop pretending they were just friends and live happily ever after with a spring wedding in the same square they shared that first cup of cocoa.

You know exactly what’s going to happen and yet, you watch anyway because in the end when everything plays out exactly as you knew it would, you can go to bed satisfied.

Angel has Fallen is the action version of a Hallmark Christmas movie. Even better, it’s the third installment in the franchise, so any originality has long since been used up.

The plot is, predictable – Is the president attacked? Does his number one secret service agent save him under impossible odds? Is that same agent then framed for the attack? Does the agent escape custody in order to prove his innocence? Does he recruit shadowy figures from his past that have never been spoken about in prior installments of this series to help him? Does he overcome being outmanned 10 to 1, maybe even 20 to 1? Is he a superhero? Does he save the President once again after the President wakes from his coma and says what we all already knew – that this number one agent could never betray him like that? In between all of that are there some B level action scenes? The answer to all these questions is Yes.

And yet, like a nice cup of hot cocoa in a town square while snow gently falls – it satisfies.

Gerard Butler (playing super-agent Mike Banning) and Morgan Freeman (playing the President) share a genuine warmth on screen that lends itself to the buddy shtick.

The action scenes are big and loud instead of nuanced and original but explosions still get the job done. There is nothing spectacular about the film (except perhaps that Mike Banning’s wife has been replaced by actress Piper Perabo and it’s never addressed) but it delivers two hours of solidly OK entertainment.

And in late August that’s all we can ask for.

 

Vicky Sparks is a Bright’s Grove native and movie critic for Global TV’s The Morning Show, which airs nationally on Fridays. Her Journal Reviews cover movies playing at Galaxy Cinemas Sarnia