Who would you call when the President of your country is in danger? In case it’s the president of the United States, my bet would be on Mike Banning, the Secret Agent who has the Head of the State twice before.
In Angel Has Fallen, the third installment of the Fallen series, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning returns and this time, there is a twist in the tale – he has a target on his back.
Even then, he manages to do his job and save the country’s President while taking you down the memory lane, through many classic Hollywood hits in the process.
1. He saves the president more times than ever!
In Angel Has Fallen, Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) continues to do what he does the best – save the American President. However, in the process, he becomes an outlaw as many of his own colleagues getting suspicious, for he gets to save the President over and over as if he knows when the incident is going to happen.
Even when on the run, Mike Banning manages to save the president on water (the first assassination attempt), on the land (the second assassination attempt in the hospital) and finally twice while moving between two buildings (the third and fourth assassination attempts) which is more than ever for the Secret Service legend.
2. What if he does that in The Fugitive style
While on the run, Mike Banning does a Richard Kimble, which in Hollywood terms is something straight from the classic TV series and Harrison Ford flick The Fugitive.
He takes the incident to the next step as instead of jumping off the prison van while it is being hit by the train, he takes down the assailants who killed the guys who were transporting him.
For some, it might be something new but for fans of classic Hollywood, it was a bad attempt to recreate a classic and could have been done in another way.
3. It’s Die Hard all over again, with the President as the target!
Bruce Willis’ Die Hard was the first film where a lone gunman took down an entire army of bad guys to save his wife; in Angel Has Fallen, Mike Banning does exactly what John McClane would have done but in a different way.
He doesn’t ambush the baddies but tries to find out the person behind the whole thing.
Secondly, McClane was never in trouble with the law while Banning is; even though his wife and kid are not involved directly, they are at a risk, something he lets his old man take care of.
4. There is a ‘Junior meets his father’ angle as well
Old man as in father, someone who wasn’t there in the first two Fallen films. In fact, he was kept out of the series till now because the makers wanted to keep it suspense.
He wasn’t part of Mike’s life and this film explains why. Nick Nolte plays Banning Sr. here which might remind you of the third Indian Jones film – Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade – where Sean Connery played Harrison Ford’s dad, something that has gone down Hollywood as an ideal casting.
And since Nolte is playing Butler’s dad, he has to do things in bigger ways than his son, right? That’s what he has done here and you will be in for a surprise because of that.
5. In a world of Superhero, he is both Super and Hero!
Mike Banning is not just a normal Secret Service agent; he is one of the best in the business. Be it on the land, in the air or in the water, he is always there to do his job and save the president.
In this film as well, he proves himself to be no less than a Super Hero, one without superpowers but with mental toughness and always available wits. Which superhero can do it everywhere without having a moment of weakness? None that I could remember.
6. He unveils the ugly face of politicians
Like yesteryear flicks, Angel Has Fallen takes you into the ugly world of American politics, with people inside the White House conspiring against the biggest democracy in the world.
How Mike Banning features into the scenario is known to all those who have seen the previous flicks in the Fallen series since he saves the President while he was in the White House, and later when he was on an official trip in London.
In this flick, he doesn’t go away from Washington DC but saves the President despite him being in a coma and the Vice President taking over, temporarily. Who does his loyalty lie to, that’s for you to find out!
7. Remember, keep your friends close
Angel Has Fallen is one of those films that teaches you lessons without being preachy. You get to know that by keeping your friends close, you are doing yourself a favour.
Here, Mike Banning’s best friend was not his colleagues but the President who believed in him even when nobody else did.
He was the main reason why he decided to return and come clean at a time when every person in the country was on a lookout for him. Yes, he did have help from his ‘family’ but the aid of his colleagues after the President gave him a clean chit was invaluable.
8. For the audience, it may be ‘been there, seen that’
The worst feeling that comes over you after watching this film is that it doesn’t provide you with anything new.
Everything in this film has happened before on the film screen, be it the action scenes with new weaponry, the deceit that tears apart friends, the return of an estranged father and the one-man-can-make-a-difference factor that this film is weaved around.
It is good for new cine-goers who aren’t accustomed to classics but for oldies, it might come out as a cheap knock off of something they still love and cherish.
9. The President has to be someone worth risking your life
This was the first time that someone as grand as Morgan Freeman portrayed the US President and when you have someone like that at the helm, it’s worth risking your life.
Mike Banning risked being captured, shot, killed and even kidnapped but he didn’t run away from the President he was supposed to serve and that’s what mattered when he did have an audience with Mr President.
he film shows that both Freeman and Butler were meant to play the President and his Savior and they did a great job, worth cheering for while watching the flick on the large screen.
10. And then there was the reward
From the start of the flick, Agent Banning was being touted as the next Director of the Secret Service but when he was declared rogue, David Gentry (Lance Reddick) decided to stay back.
At the end of the film, after being confronted by the President about his failing health, he decided to come clean but the President refused to let him go.
Who would, considering he saved the Head of State’s life on more occasions than he can count! What was the reward, you ask? Wait for the next flick to find out!
11. What More To Expect From Next in Fallen series
There have been countless films where the President has been saved by his guards. However, the way things have been happening, Agent Banning might end up as the President in coming days. Then we will have to wait for something on the lines of Air Force One where Harrison Ford defeated terrorists on his plane, or something like White House Down where the President and his guard saved the day.
Whatever the story, we are all waiting for the return of Mike Banning, who is now the head of the Secret Service due to his exemplary record.