Angel Has Fallen (NC16)

Starring Gerard Butler, Piper Perabo, Morgan Freeman, Danny Huston

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh

In the third instalment of the Has Fallen… franchise, indomitable Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler, earning his keep as this generation’s Chuck Norris) is framed for the assassination attempt on Morgan Freeman’s Speaker of the House-turned-Veep-turned-POTUS. (Of course, Banning’s the No.1 suspect — he survives the attack and the FBI uncovers $10 million conveniently stashed away in an offshore account. Duh.) 

To stop the bad guys, Banning begrudgingly enlists the help of his estranged father (Nick Nolte, sharing his screen time with a noise-absorbing grizzly bear beard), a forest hobo who’s one manifesto away from becoming the Unabomber. (For someone who’s supposed to be off the grid, Banning Sr is really easy to track down. Just saying.) 

The one-man army shtick doesn’t kick into gear until the final reel, but is executed with limited flair, inventiveness and excitement. (There’s one action sequence in a SUV that’s so poorly lit — and edited — that it had me wondering if the DoP had his lighting budget slashed or that the projectionist had forgotten to crank up the brightness level.)  

Listen, brainless, I can handle, but does the movie has to be dour and humourless as well? Seriously, where’s the “why don’t you and I play a game of [expletive] off…you go first” line? And when levity does arrive, it’s too little, and way too late — in the end credits. Baffling. (**1/2)

Photos: Millennium Films/Encore Films

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