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Angel Has Fallen Is A Mildly Engaging Actioner



Angel Has Fallen

 Starring Gerard Butler, Nick Nolte,  Morgan Freeman

Directed  by  Ric Roman  Waugh

Rating: ** ½( two and  a half stars)

The ‘Fallen’ series features two fallen  stars  in its third  instalment.  Morgan  Freeman who once drove Miss Daisy ,has been driving the supporters  of  MeToo up the wall. He manages to sneak  back into this nominally interestingactioner,   and then spends  all his time inert on a hospital bed.Is this the ‘coma’ before the  fullstop?

Freeman plays  the President  of  the  United States. He is as black as Obama and replaces the White President from  the first two films of  the  ‘Fallen’ franchise.But this  film is  not about him. It’s about Mike Banning , the US Prez’s  security chief played by Gerard Butler who has been out  of  luck since his fleeting fling with Priyanka  Chopra  a decade ago.I am  not  saying the two  occurrences(the fling and  the failure) are related.  Just  saying…

 Butler is impressively tormented , tight-jawed and  furious in a role that’s meant to  shine his frayed valour on a violent  landscape  where  guns and  brave men  roam helterksleter  hoping the camera captures their  derrindo  in proportionate measures. The director  does have an eye for  streamlined stunt  sequences.

 I have  to admit the  action sequences here, specially the one where  the  President  is ambushed  in the ocean by drones, are first-rate.So  please  ignore all those green-screen jokes  that have appeared  even before the  film’s release.However not all the  well-planned action is executed with similar  rectitude.

In one  lengthy road chase, Butler  drives  fast in an unwieldy fan in pitch darkness  as he is pursued by sundry  enemies, some  of them belonging to the  American government.Here the  lack of light and  profusion of  chaotic  drama completely  ruins the  intended  vigour of  the road violence.

 The main problem here  is  that the suspense regarding who the bad guys  are, can be smelt  out from miles away. The identity  of  the two main villains is revealed without any sense  of  flourish  or  triumph. I  think the screenwriters  knew they were  negotiating on thin  ice.

Just  skidding!

While some of the performances are  borderline preposterous(Jada Pinkett Smith,who’s  Mrs Will Smith in real life, is ridiculously unconvincing as the FBI  chief)  Butler succeeds in making Banning a creature on the prowl  to his last breath. His scenes with his wife(Piper Perabo) and  littly baby are heart-meltingly tangible.. And Butler’s   lengthy  reconciliation with his  hermetic wizened  but  undefeated  dad(Nick Nolte) suffers  from excessive playing-time. Sure, we understand  Dad lives in isolation in  the forest. Now  could we get along with the plot, please?

Given the ‘Fallen’ series’ penchant for overdrive , Angel  Has Fallen does well for itself,  treading the safe  ground and  still whipping  up quite  a lot of heat and dust in  a tale as predictable as a whodunit where you  know Butler notdunnit.

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