Angel Has Fallen
|Angel Has Fallen|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ric Roman Waugh|
|Music by||David Buckley|
|Edited by||Gabriel Fleming|
|Box office||$129.7 million|
Angel Has Fallen is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Ric Roman Waugh. It is the third installment in the Fallen film series, following Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and London Has Fallen (2016). The film stars Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo, Nick Nolte, and Danny Huston. The plot again follows United States Secret Service agent Mike Banning, as he races against time to clear his name after being framed for an attack on the U.S. President, Allan Trumbull.
The film was officially announced in October 2016, and Roman Waugh was hired in July 2017. New members of the cast were added in early 2018, and filming began in February of that year around Bulgaria and the United Kingdom.
The film was released in the United States on August 23, 2019, by Lionsgate. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $129 million worldwide.
Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) undergoes training at a private military facility owned by his friend Wade Jennings (Danny Huston), a former fellow Army Ranger who is currently the CEO of the private military company Salient Global, and is recommended for the position of Secret Service Director by the President of the United States, Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), to replace retiring Director David Gentry (Lance Reddick). Banning hides the fact that he is suffering from migraines and insomnia with regular visits to several doctors, and begins taking medication to cope with recurring back pain.
While the President is on a rural fishing trip, armed drones attack his protection detail, with only Banning surviving and saving the President; both are incapacitated, with Trumbull in a coma. FBI Agent Helen Thompson (Jada Pinkett Smith) finds substantial evidence that Banning may be responsible for the attack, with the van used to carry out the attack containing Banning's hair and DNA. Banning is subsequently arrested.
En route to a detention facility, Banning and his transport are ambushed. He escapes after killing the assailants, revealed to be agents who took part in his training exercise; Banning realizes that Jennings has betrayed and framed him. Banning calls his wife Leah (Piper Perabo), letting her know he is alive. The call alerts Thompson to Banning's location, leading to a car chase. However, Banning escapes again before heading to his father's home in the woods.
With Trumbull still comatose, Vice President Martin Kirby (Tim Blake Nelson) is sworn in as Acting President. Via surveillance cameras, Banning and his father Clay (Nick Nolte) observe Jennings' men approaching the house; Clay detonates explosives around the perimeter, killing the would-be attackers as he and Banning escape, and Banning reveals to his father that he has a wife and daughter. Leah and her daughter are on the verge of being kidnapped by Jennings' men when Clay saves them. Kirby reveals to the press that Banning is responsible for the assassination attempt with support from the Russian government.
Finding the bodies around Clay's cabin, Thompson deduces that Banning was set up. Trumbull awakens from his coma, and Kirby is revealed to be involved with Jennings. Kirby plans to retaliate for the President's “attempted assassination” by attacking Russia. Thompson and another agent meet Jennings, who kills them both.
Banning reaches Trumbull's hospital and is captured, but Trumbull orders his release. Banning leads Trumbull to safety with help from Gentry and other loyal agents, as Jennings destroys the hospital's Intensive Care Unit by increasing the oxygen and nitrogen supply to unstable levels, causing an explosion.
Banning hides Trumbull and Gentry as Jennings' men pursue them. After a long gun battle, Jennings attempts to escape via helicopter, which Banning destroys. They face off hand-to-hand, and Banning mortally stabs Jennings. Banning is exonerated while Trumbull and Gentry arrest Kirby for treason due to the evidence uncovered by Jennings to deploy as an insurance policy. Clay decides to live with Banning and his family. Feeling guilty over his failure to protect Trumbull, as well as his undisclosed ailments, Banning offers his resignation, but Trumbull forgives his mistakes and offers Banning the promotion to Director of the Secret Service, which he accepts.
- Gerard Butler as United States Secret Service agent Mike Banning, Clay's son and Leah's husband.
- Morgan Freeman as President Allan Trumbull
- Danny Huston as Wade Jennings, Mike's former Ranger teammate and the leader of Salient Global.
- Michael Landes as Sam Wilcox, White House Chief of Staff
- Tim Blake Nelson as Vice President Martin Kirby
- Nick Nolte as Clay Banning, a Vietnam-era Ranger/Tunnel Rat and Mike's estranged father who abandoned him at a young age. Since then, he has taken up living in the woods all over the US.
- Piper Perabo as Leah Banning, Mike's wife. Perabo replaced Radha Mitchell, who played the role in the previous films.
- Jada Pinkett Smith as FBI Agent Helen Thompson
- Lance Reddick as Secret Service Director David Gentry
- Mark Arnold as CIA Director James Haskell
- Frederick Schmidt as Travis Cole, head of security of Salient Global and Jennings' right-hand man.
- Joseph Millson as FBI Agent Ramirez
- Ori Pfeffer as Secret Service Agent Murphy
- Chris Browning as Militia Man
On October 28, 2016, it was announced that a third Fallen installment, titled Angel Has Fallen, was in development, with Gerard Butler reprising his role, as well as once again acting as a producer. On July 25, 2017, Ric Roman Waugh was announced as director.
On January 10, 2018, Holt McCallany was set to play Wade Jennings, an ex-military turned head of a technology company. A week later, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tim Blake Nelson were confirmed added, and filming was scheduled to start on February 7, 2018. On February 13, 2018, Piper Perabo joined the cast. On March 12, 2018, Lance Reddick was set to play Secret Service Director Gentry. Aaron Eckhart, who had played president Benjamin Asher in the first two films, announced he would not return in his role. On March 21, 2018, Michael Landes was cast as White House Chief of Staff Sam Wilcox. On January 22, 2019, David Buckley was announced as the film's composer, replacing Trevor Morris, who scored the previous two films.
Filming on Angel Has Fallen commenced in Virginia Water Lake, and continued throughout the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. Filming also took place at Pinewood Studios, Bray Studios, Longcross Studios and Nu Boyana Film Studios. Holt McCallany had to drop out of his role due to scheduling conflicts with the show Mindhunter, and was replaced by Danny Huston.
The film was released in the United States on August 23, 2019.
In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross $13–15 million from 3,286 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $7.9 million on its first day. This included $1.5 million from Thursday night previews, the highest of the series. It went on to debut to $21.3 million, finishing first and over-performing. It was Butler's first time atop the box office since 300 (2007), and was just below the opening of London Has Fallen ($21.6 million). The film remained in first place the following weekend, grossing $11.8 million, as well as $3 million on Labor Day. The film was finally dethroned in its third weekend, grossing $6 million and finishing second, behind newcomer It Chapter Two.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 39% based on 172 reviews, with an average rating of 4.97/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Cut from the same rough cloth as its predecessors, Angel Has Fallen rounds out a mostly forgettable action trilogy in fittingly mediocre fashion." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 45 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same score earned by its predecessors, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 4.5 out of 5 stars and a 64% "definite recommend."
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film, "may not be appreciably better than the first two installments [...], but it's actually more fun — first and foremost because of a vastly amusing turn by Nick Nolte as Gerard Butler's eccentric Vietnam vet old coot father." Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club gave the film a grade C, and called it a "dramatic improvement" though was critical of the action sequences, saying, "they all fall victim to having too much repetitive editing and not enough kinetic energy, a problem that no amount of onscreen firepower, twisted wreckage, or offbeat overhead camera angles can solve." David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "D+", specifying that "[w]ith Nolte as his bonkers dad, Gerard Butler's mediocre action franchise and his mediocre American accent find a mediocre conclusion."
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