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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Lip service is paid to courage and integrity, but those messages are muddled because both villains and heroes use exact same brutal methods. Movie also doesn't seem to care about collateral damage: At one point, a hospital is blown up, and it's never mentioned how many patients, doctors, nurses, other people were killed, just that a few characters are safe.
Positive Role Models
Banning is true to his word, works hard to protect his family and the administration he's hired to guard. But it's hard to consider him a role model when he's blowing up, shooting, stabbing, and/or strangling so many. His relationship with his father, though, is relatable and humanizing. Women are almost absent; although Jada Pinkett-Smith plays a high-ranking FBI agent and Piper Perabo is Banning's wife, neither is given much to do.
Violence & Scariness
Nonstop, super-intense mayhem and violence. People are hit with grenades, other explosive devices; many, many bodies fly through the air, are on fire. People are shot; usually they just fall to the ground, but sometimes viewers see spattering or pooling blood. People are hit by cars, stabbed, strangled; a hospital is blown up, presumably causing an enormous number of deaths. Many scenes are filled with high-tech weaponry, military aircraft, advanced guns. Vehicles crash into each other, skid down the road, burst into flames. Character bludgeoned in front of a small child, who screams and cries. Deaths are usually of identically dressed soldiers whose faces are obscured by helmets/masks, but some sympathetic characters are killed suddenly on-screen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Married characters kiss affectionately.
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Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "f--king," "a--hole," "s--t," "damn," "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink at gatherings; no one acts drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Angel Has Fallen is the third film in an intense action series that began with Olympus Has Fallen and continued in London Has Fallen. Like those, the story centers on a foreign plot to kill the American president, with Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) ready to protect and serve. Also like the other two, Angel Has Fallen has constant graphic violence: Hundreds of (largely faceless) people are killed in multiple extended battle scenes with military weaponry and aircraft, and sympathetic characters are suddenly dispatched on-screen. Bodies are set on fire, fly through the air, and lie burned on the ground with missing limbs. Dozens of explosions take out many people at the same time; there are also scenes in which people battle while driving, with cars and trucks smashing into things and each other. Nobody shows any remorse, nor are there many consequences for the deaths. Language is frequent and quite salty, including "f--k," "a--hole," "s--t," "damn," and "hell." Banning is frequently praised for being brave and strong, but the movie mostly shows him being brutal. He's tender to his wife and child, but they mostly serve as a symbol for what he leaves behind when he heads off on a mission. Women are almost absent from the movie overall, though Jada Pinkett-Smith plays an FBI investigator. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Punishingly grim and overly long, this third entry in the Fallen series mostly squanders any credit it earned from the previous two outings. As Banning battles (and battles) his way out of increasingly ludicrous odds, viewers may forget at times just who he's fighting. Mowing down armies of faceless bad guys with guns and explosive devices and (at one point) a long-haul truck, Butler looks as exhausted as the audience feels while numbly watching the carnage.
The overstuffed plot of Angel Has Fallen has a lot of threads, as well as characters who show up briefly to throw monkey wrenches into Banning's plans. Of course, as in most protect-the-president films, there are cardboard villains standing between Our Hero and victory: This time around, it's Oval Office insiders, Russian spies, and a group of private military contractors. If that sounds overly complicated, it is, and that's one of the chief reasons it's hard to remember just who's inside the helmet being shot at. Perabo is wasted in her blah worried-wife role, as is Tim Blake Nelson as a shifty-eyed vice president. But a game Nick Nolte is the best thing this movie has going for it: still wild-eyed, raspy, and vital, he brings both pathos and crackle to his all-too-brief role. Filmmakers, some advice: Forget about Fallen, and give this guy an actioner to head up on his own.
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