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Movie Review: Fallen Trilogy lacks punch

Back in 2013 Olympus Has Fallen was not an overly impressive film, but had its moments. Gerard Butler was himself as a secret service agent Mike Banning, who saves the day for the country and president in the typical action flick. Butler was really good in it and it had the action thriller vibe to his mission. Moreover Morgan Freeman was really good as Speaker Trumbull who unexpectedly becomes the short-term president. Aaron Eckhart was just okay in this movie where he plays the President being held hostage. He never blows you away, but he gives a believable performance enough to make you care about his character. The approach was fun and the movie delivered what it needed making a lot of money in the process. It also left people feeling satisfied, but not blown away. A fine standard for any action movie.

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The next movie in the trilogy was London Has Fallen, which was easily the worst in the franchise. Butler obviously returned, but this movie failed to deliver anything resembling an entertaining movie in the process. London Has Fallen felt like the same movie, placed in a different location and without the benefit of the audience not knowing what to expect. This time the audience had something to reference and instead it was the exact same thing. That accounts for why the movie also was lacking in the suspense department and was short on great action scenes. One thing that shocked me was the movie felt rushed, yet slow at the same time. A truly rare occurrence. In any action movie there should be a moment where the audience, no matter how bad the movie is, says “Wow!” or leaves the theater talking about one part. This movie had people talking about why a second was made.

Finally comes Angel Has Fallen, which was finally a change in idea as this time Butler was being hunted for supposedly murdering the Secret Service team and attempting to murder the President. Although the movie stretches reality quite often, the action sequences at least make the whole thing passable. The idea of the plot is one that isn’t totally out of line with other action movies that have been well received, but the way it goes about it makes it a struggle for the viewer. The action sequences in this movie are cool. The explosions are well placed to keep the audience invested, but the problem is we don’t really know what we are investing ourselves into. The end of the movie was both predictable and certain parts were over the top and others were just unnecessary. Nick Nolte was pretty good in his role as Butler’s long lost father, but overall this movie is beyond the realm of even the unrealistic. Furthermore the casting left a lot to be desired. Jada Pinkett Smith didn’t seem believable at all as the lead FBI investigator, which really hurt the movie right from the start.

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After seeing all three of the movies and taking a step back to dissect them, the order of the entertainment value is clear. Olympus Has Fallen is the best, but there is a big step down after that. Angel Has Fallen is next making London Has Fallen the worst of the trilogy and one that is one of the most boring action movies I have seen.

When comparing them all the problem is the it feels like even if the plot or script was the same thing over and over that it could still be entertaining. After all, the Fast movies lived off that for the first four or so and still drew big office success. (This trilogy also did well financially, hence the sequels). But the problem is there were no standout scenes in London Has Fallen and Angel Has Fallen lacked the wow moment despite some fun scenes. Because of that Olympus Has Fallen is the easy choice for the top spot in a trilogy that probably didn’t deserve more than one movie. As the saying goes though “cash is king” and this trilogy proves that, along with others (We’re looking at you Purge movies), as long as the profit is up, there will always be room for another movie.

About David Albiani

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