Ger­ard But­ler has Round 3 as ‘Fallen’ Se­cret Ser­vice agent

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Crossword Puzzle - BY JAY BOB­BIN

“An­gel Has Fallen” is the kind of movie that doesn’t stir breath­less an­tic­i­pa­tion, but rather, this re­ac­tion: “Fine. Why not? Noth­ing else is go­ing on.”

It’s sur­pris­ing that “Olym­pus Has Fallen” has two se­quels, much less one. When the orig­i­nal movie was re­leased, it was in sort of a bat­tle with “White House Down” to be that year’s best thriller about ter­ror­ists over­run­ning Amer­ica’s top ad­dress.

The rea­son “Olym­pus” worked wasn’t just Ger­ard But­ler as a Se­cret Ser­vice vet­eran, but his team­work with Aaron Eck­hart as the pres­i­dent he had to pro­tect.

“Lon­don Has Fallen” largely re­peated the same plot overseas, and now in “An­gel Has Fallen,” it’s the But­ler char­ac­ter who’s the sus­pected ter­ror­ist. He’s alleged to have launched a drone at­tack on the chief ex­ec­u­tive – now played by Mor­gan Free­man, who’s got­ten govern­ment job pro­mo­tions from movie to movie in this fran­chise. (Well, sure. He’s Mor­gan Free­man. And if you dare to send drones af­ter him, you get what you get.)

You just know But­ler is go­ing to go af­ter the real perps, so “An­gel Has Fallen” largely is an ex­er­cise in watch­ing him es­cape cus­tody, then go on the lam while evad­ing ev­ery branch of the law. But­ler ac­tu­ally makes an ap­peal­ing hero once again, but if he’s go­ing to make a se­quel, I’d rather see him do one to “P.S. I Love You.” (Yes, that would mean more flash­backs, but let’s not get too tech­ni­cal here.)

The plot of “An­gel Has Fallen” saves his al­ter ego from tak­ing a desk job lead­ing the Se­cret Ser­vice, since be­fore he can give his an­swer about that job, the at­tack hap­pens and he’s try­ing to get away from the very agents he would be com­mand­ing. It’s a good bet that’s not the train­ing ex­er­cise he was look­ing for, nor is the ac­cu­sa­tion of Rus­sian col­lu­sion he faces from those all too ea­ger to pin the threat against the Pres­i­dent on some­one.

Other than the fact that you know what will hap­pen in it long be­fore it does, there is noth­ing in­her­ently wrong with “An­gel Has Fallen.” It has all the req­ui­site ac­tion and then some, and there’s a solid sup­port­ing cast that in­cludes Nick Nolte (sup­ply­ing some amuse­ment as But­ler’s re­source­ful fa­ther), Jada Pin­kett Smith, Piper Per­abo, Tim Blake Nel­son and Danny Hus­ton.

It’s just that the re­sult is so to­tally by-the-num­bers, you sort of hope this is the last time But­ler will have “Fallen,” so that you don’t have to ask the only likely ques­tion about an­other se­quel: “Why?”

Ger­ard But­ler

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