Nov 212019

Angel Has Fallen is pretty much in-line with the first two movies, meaning they’re fine time-wasters but not top-of-the-line action-thrillers and it is on the predictable side. Still, thanks to Gerard Butler and the indispensible Morgan Freeman, it still was an entertaining thriller.



Angel Has Fallen

Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 121 min. – $42.99 | November 26, 2019

Date Published: 11/21/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh
Writer(s): Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt (characters); Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt (story), Robert Mark Kamen and Matt Cook & Ric Roman Waugh (screenplay)
Cast: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Danny Huston, Nick Nolte, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo

Features: Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: (4K/BD) English (Dolby Atmos), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.0/5

Plot Synopsis: When there is an assassination attempt on U.S. President Allan Trumbull (MORGAN FREEMAN), his trusted confidant, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (GERARD BUTLER), is wrongfully accused and taken into custody. After escaping from capture, aided by the real culprits intent on holding him, he becomes a man on the run and must evade his own agency and outsmart the FBI, led by Agent Thompson (JADA PINKETT SMITH), in order find the real threat to the president. Desperate to uncover the truth, Banning turns to unlikely allies to help clear his name, keep his family from harm, and save the country from imminent danger.

Review: Olympus Has Fallen, from my memory, was a solid enough thriller, a little too much like Die Hard for sure but was better than the similarly plotted White House Down. Due to its smaller budget ($70M vs. $150M) and apparently solid enough home video sales, it did manage to make enough for the sequel, London Has Fallen, a movie that was outrageously over-the-top but still a lot of fun. Now comes Angel Has Fallen, and this third entry, was a step down but still mildly engaging.

Gerard Butler returns as Banning and while I’m not one to comment on somebody else’s physique, and perhaps it’s part of the character as it turns out he’s been popping pills to help mitigate the injuries he’s sustained over the course of these movies, does look a tad, well, pudgy and his ability to outrun the Secret Service, FBI and a military contractor and their mercenaries, does become a stretch, but isn’t a detriment to the film’s entertainment value.

Morgan Freeman also marks his return, getting promoted from Vice President to the big chair and, well, it’s Morgan fricken Freeman who after all of these years is still cool as all hell. And even being 82 years young, still possesses so much screen presence and gives the thankless role as President a bit of weight, especially considering his character pretty much lays in a hospital bed for the majority of the film.

As for the rest of the supporting cast, Danny Huston, to nobody’s surprise is the villain though the filmmakers were smart enough to make that reveal fairly early on, though the second villain pulling all of the strings, and was rather obvious from the get go, came later; Nick Nolte was a blast as Banning’s vagabond father; Piper Perabo steps in for Radha Mitchell, which is odd since the character here does get a bit more to do, so no clue why she didn’t return; Tim Blake Nelson portrays the Vice President stepping in for Trumbull whose in a coma; and Jada Pinkett Smith is the FBI agent pursuing Banning, the Samuel Gerard without the personality (and over-acting) of this film (and don’t get me wrong, I love The Fugitive and found U.S. Marshals to be convoluted, but Tommy Lee Jones does overplay it, albeit he was a lot of fun).

Taking the reins in the director’s chair is Ric Roman Waugh, a stuntman by trade (Gone in 60 Seconds, The Crow, Universal Soldier amongst many others), had previously directed 2013’s Snitch and 2017’s Shot Caller. Obviously his career as a stuntman was the reason for being chosen to helm Angel Has Fallen (seems like a similar path as David Leitch). Considering the film’s relatively limited budget (reportedly $69M), he didn’t do a bad job, however it does seem like the filmmakers did overextend themselves as much of CGI and visual effects was at times laughably awful, almost along the lines of CW’s Supergirl or The Flash.

In the end, Angel Has Fallen did at least stray from the template of Olympus and London, though the plot in of itself was still rather predictable but I still found this to be relatively entertaining, especially on a Saturday night where you just want to kick back and relax.



This release comes with a part-matted/part semi-glossy slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Even Heroes Fall: The Story (8:35) looks at developing the script and taking the franchise in a new direction.

Someone to Watch Over Me: New Blood (13:02) — Profile on director Ric Roman Waugh who took over directing duties, brought in by Butler after had meeting him in the past when Waugh came in to helm Law Abiding Citizen.

Calling All Angels: Casting (18:13) — Break down on the cast including Danny Huston, Nick Nolte, Piper Perabo and Jada Pinkett Smith.

True Faith: Authenticity (12:47) is on the research done by Waugh to give the film as much realism as possible.

Fight For You: Stunts & Action (9:39) chronicles the set up for the numerous amount of stunt work and explosions included in the film.

Earth Angel: Recreating DC (6:25) is on the work done to recreate Washington D.C. (and the White House) while filming in the U.K. and Bulgaria.

Angel Declassified (8:38) are commentaries of three key scenes (“Drone Attack”, “Truck Chase” and “Zero Gravity”) by Ric Roman Waugh.


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO — 4.75/5

Lionsgate releases Angel Has Fallen in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers for the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs respectively. Both of them do look rather good with perhaps a slight added sharpness on the 4K transfer but the Blu-ray doesn’t look half bad at all. Colors on both are generally vibrant for the daylight scenes, while blacks are a tad lighter, however that’s not the fault of the transfer and instead the filmmakers way for the audience to tell what the hell is going on in that scene (and even then, kind of failed). Outside of that, both transfers were clean, free of any obvious signs of aliasing or artifacting.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

Both the 4K UHD and Blu-rays came with Dolby Atmos tracks. Strangely, although these tracks at times did sound great, providing for clear dialogue and usage of the front and rear channels for ambient noises as well as the score by David Buckley, the many action sequences did lack a certain impact with the LFE channel barely kicking on for that extra measure of a punch I tend to expect from a new action film like this. So while this wasn’t a wow-inducing track, still had some impressive moments.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

Angel Has Fallen is pretty much in-line with the first two movies, meaning they’re fine time-wasters but not top-of-the-line action-thrillers and it is on the predictable side. Still, thanks to Gerard Butler and the indispensible Morgan Freeman, it still was an entertaining thriller worthy of a rental.

This 4K UHD/Blu-ray release from Lionsgate offers up well done video and audio transfers and some so-so selection of bonus material.


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