Sunday, September 22, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 29
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
AD ASTRA
AFTER THE WEDDING
ANGEL HAS FALLEN
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BINGEABLE: A.P. BIO
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
CRAWL
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
DOWNTON ABBEY
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
IT: CHAPTER 2
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RAMBO: LAST BLOOD
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GOLDFINCH
THE KITCHEN
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY

ANGEL HAS FALLEN

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF CAMPBELL GROBMAN FILMS

ANGEL HAS FALLEN


Where is it playing?: Hi-Way Drive-In, Movies Lompoc, Parks Plaza

What's it rated?: R

What's it worth?: $Stream it (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

In case you need a refresher, this is the third offering of the Fallen franchise that started in 2013 with Olympus Has Fallen and was followed in 2016 with London Has Fallen. Each stars noble Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). In this newest iteration directed by Ric Roman Waugh (Felon, Snitch, Shot Caller), after being framed for attempting to assassinate the president, Banning must evade the FBI and his own agency as he works to clear his name and find the true culprit, who aims to take out President Thumbull (Morgan Freeman).

Well, thank God for Nick Nolte, whose mid-film appearance as Mike Banning’s estranged father, Clay Banning, managed to stop me from napping through this predictable, by-the-numbers actioner. Clay is a grizzled old Vietnam vet who long before abandoned his wife and child for a life living off the grid and away from a culture and government he rejects as corrupt. Nolte, the former heartthrob of films such as The Deep (1977) and 48 Hrs. (1982), has really embraced his scruffy carbuncular old age in films like Tropic Thunder (2008) and Warrior (2011). In Angel Has Fallen, he actually manages to give this otherwise hollow, wooden affair a beating heart.

After the opening set piece, an idea stolen from an old James Bond film, we get the set-up: Banning’s friendship with former fellow soldier Wade Jennings (Danny Huston), who now runs a struggling private sector military company (think Blackwater). When Huston turns up as a supposed good guy in anything, regular cinemagoers know to be wary because Huston is a helluva bad guy! His character Jennings needs a president willing to employ firms like his on the global battlefield, which Thumbull isn’t, and since Banning is up for director of the Secret Service, maybe he could put in a good word for his old comrade in arms. Trust me: What’s coming is telegraphed from a mile away.

What follows will appeal to fans of the franchise, which once again delivers explosions, gunfights, vehicle chases, and hand-to-hand combat. Unfortunately, it’s a familiar path from beginning to end, right down to Banning’s wife, Leah (Piper Perabo), and toddler daughter being imperiled. There are exactly zero surprises awaiting viewers, which is maybe why the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes are 95 percent while critics scores are 40 percent. If you want to see something familiar, by all means go. If you were hoping to be in any way surprised by the story, you’ll leave as dissatisfied as I was. (120 min.)

—Glen Starkey




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