Angel Has Fallen review – on the run from the Russians

Gerard Butler’s Secret Service agent is framed by Moscow in the tasteless third film in the franchise

In 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen, North Korea was America’s enemy; its Islamophobic 2016 follow-up, London Has Fallen, took umbrage with Muslim terrorists via Pakistan. This time, the tasteless franchise targets Russia. Or rather, it is targeted by Russia, who have framed Gerard Butler’s Secret Service agent Mike Banning for an assassination attempt on President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman, pleasingly presidential). On a fishing trip with Trumball, a swarm of drones equipped with facial recognition software wipes out all of the agents bar Banning. And when the FBI discover $10m in an offshore account under his name, he’s forced to go on the run.

The film imagines Banning and his wife, Leah (Piper Perabo), as victims, which is to say that the American values they represent – valour, honesty, traditional gender roles and national pride – are portrayed as under threat. Butler is convincingly sturdy as Banning, but the film’s politics are shaky. Banning’s estranged father, Clay (Nick Nolte), is a damaged Vietnam veteran who teaches his son about the futility of war before setting off a wall of home-rigged explosions. There is something odd about the way the film condemns bloodshed while revelling in trigger-happy violence.

Watch the trailer for Angel Has Fallen.


Simran Hans

The GuardianTramp

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