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Angel Has Fallen


Stars: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Danny Huston, Nick Nolte, Piper Perabo, Tim Blake Nelson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Kerry Shale

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

The third in a trilogy that no one really needed, this latest addition to tales of the US president's bodyguard (the 'angel' of the title) - if only life was as lively as this - concerns the framing of Mike Banning (a rather weightier Butler) for an assassination attempt on the life of the president (Freeman, still doddering along in the role at 82).

While the prez and Banning are on a (heavily guarded) fishing trip, a mysterious device in a van parked not too far away launches dozens of bomb-armed drones, bringing about the first series of the film's numerous explosions, and leaving 18 secret service agents dead.

The prez, diving into deep water with Banning to escape the impact, barely survives and now lies in hospital in a coma. Mike, waking from a similar comatose state, finds himself handcuffed to the bed. His DNA and hair samples have been found in the van and $10 million credited to his name in an offshore account.

Could Banning's old war warrior friend Huston and sharkish vp Nelson really be behind it all? Since there are few other characters on offer, it's a no-brainer.

The first half of what follows is, for all its improbabilities, pretty good stuff. Alas, the film just gets sillier and sillier as it goes on, culminating in a baffling 'comedy' scene in the credits of a film which has drifted on at least five minutes too long. And close combat scenes are edited with excessive frenzy.

Butler, whose character is suffering from headaches caused by spine and neck problems - unsurprising given the action of the previous films - no longer looks spry enough to gun down or break the necks of scores of hired goons, and his acting hasn't improved either. Far better is a grizzled and bearded Nolte as his wily old hermit of a father. Perabo and Pinkett Smith are OK in the token female roles.

David Quinlan

USA/Bulgaria/Canada/Portugal 2019. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour by Arri.
122 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 21 Aug 2019