Angel Has Fallen (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Writer: Matt Cook, Robert Mark Kamen, Ric Roman Waugh (Screenplay) Katrin Benedikt, Creighton Rothenberger (Characters)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Piper Perabo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nick Nolte, Lance Reddick, Danny Huston, Tim Blake Nelson

Plot: Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat.


Tagline – Fallen. Framed. Forced to Fight for His Life.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Franchise Hasn’t Fallen

Story: Angel Has Fallen starts when Mike banning (Butler) is the only survivor of a drone attack on President Allan Trumbull (Freeman), the rest of the team are killed and Mike has been framed for the assassination attempt. FBI agent Helen Thompson (Smith) is investigating the case, with Mike looking cut and dry to have been the man behind it, but when Mike escapes, he sets out to prove his innocence.

Mike turns to his estranged father Clay (Nolte) as he looks to discover why his old friend an private contractor Wade Jennings (Huston) has set him up and how he can prove his isn’t involved despite a nationwide manhunt for him.

Thoughts on Angel Has Fallen

Characters – Mike Banning is still a senior secret service man, playing righthand to the President, he has been keeping his injuries secret, which is nice to see an action man actually suffering injuries, instead of just being fine, like most action stars. He does his duty saving the President from an attack, only to find himself framed. When the people come to finish the job on Banning, he escapes and uses all his training to allude and search for a way to prove his innocence. Allan Trumbull is now the President, stepping up from his role as the Vice in the previous two outings, he is looking to change certain ideas, though he spends most of his film in a coma after the attack, he is the only other witness who could defend Mike’s involvement too. Wade Jennings is the private military contractor and old military buddy of Mike’s, he has framed him and is using his expertly trained team to hunt him down and finish off the job. Leah is the wife of Mike’s she is trying to keep him from working now they have a child and must deal with the consequences of seeing the name dragged through the dirt. FBI Agent Helen Thompson is trying to put the pieces together, seeing Mike as the prime suspect, she just wants the case closed without anybody else being hurt. Clay Banning is the estranged father of Mike’s he has been off the grid for years because of his own trauma from his time in the war, he is the only person Mike knows he can turn too.

PerformancesGerard Butler is great in the leading role, he is always going to be a bankable star when it comes to action roles and this is no different. Morgan Freeman does everything you would expect from a President role, without needing to do much. Piper Perabo takes over from Radha Mitchell in the wife role, which doesn’t have much to do if we are being honest. Danny Huston is one of these actors that you know is always going to be a villain, he does everything we know he can do in this role. Nick Nolte is a lot of fun, bringing his trademark estranged father role to the big screen once again, he gets a few laughs in too.

StoryThe story here sees Mike Banning being framed for the assassination attempt of the President, the figure that he has been guarding for years and he must go off the grid to prove who was really behind it. The story is one that is great to watch for action, but if you have seen the previous instalments of the franchise, you will be left asking a few questions. First what happened to President Benjamin Asher, we have zero mention of him, secondly, how is nobody on Mike’s side after all he has done in the past, like seriously, he pretty much saved the President against impossible odds twice. While this question could be answered with the number of pieces of evidence placed on him, it still doesn’t seem to fit the character these people have created. Away from these questions, we must say this does build on the scale of the previous film’s stories, which is good because it does feel different, which each film does do. We could easily watch this story as a single film too and the fact that we do touch on the physical injuries that Mike has suffered through his job, does show a vulnerable action character.

ActionThe action is big, we might not have the large scale opening attack, but once we get into the military formations ideas, we get plenty of tactical shootings.

SettingsThe film does build on the settings, with the first one being one building, the second being one city, now we have a nationwide hunt.

Special EffectsThe effects, well this has been an issue for the franchise all along, but the green screen scenes are so clear to see it almost feels like they didn’t finish the job yet.


Scene of the Movie – Mike and Clay have an escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – No mention of former President Benjamin Asher, like what happened here?

Final Thoughts This is a action sequel that does enough different to make it feel fresh even if certain parts of the story feels too farfetched, it does continue to have a 24 vibe to everything, but it is well for a watch if you have seen the franchise or not.

Overall: Trilogy that hasn’t Fallen.

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An Acceptable Loss (2018)

Director: Joe Chappelle

Writer: Joe Chappelle (Screenplay)

Starring: Tika Sumpter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Tavassoli, Jeff Hephner, Deanne Dunagan, Alex Weisman

 

Plot: Libby teaches at a university but 4 years ago she was top aide to VP Rachel and was part of a total victory action. Rachel is now US president and worried about Libby keeping quiet. Libby also has a student spying on her.


Tagline – The Truth is a Moving Target

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: An Acceptable Thriller

 

Story: An Acceptable Loss starts as Libby (Sumpter) takes a new job in education, her former career saw her working under the Vice President Rachel (Curtis) being part of a campaign known as ‘Total Victory’ which saw her career change. Libby’s new job shows how she doesn’t have any forms of communication and one of the students Martin (Tavassoli) has taken an extra interest in her life, following her around, spying her on her.

Rachel now being President sends her Chief of Staff Adrian (Hephner) and former lover of Libby to make sure she isn’t going to spill the beans on what happened in this case, all while Libby is trying to make sure she can just get on with her life.

 

Thoughts on An Acceptable Loss

 

Characters – Libby once worked for the Vice President on one of the most controversial projects in defence and dealing with potential terrorist against America, she has left this job because of what happened trying to find a new career in education, she wants to stay off the radar with how she lives, which sees her avoid her former colleagues and fellow members of the faculty. Rachel is the former Vice-President, now President who is trying to tie up the loose ends of operation Total Victory, this will see her challenge Libby on whether she will expose the truth of her actions. Martin is a student that has taken an interest in Libby following her around spying on her looking for some kind of answer. Adrian is the Chief of Staff and former lover of Libby’s, he has been assigned to keep Libby quiet.

PerformancesTika Sumpter does give us a strong performance, we do see how her guilt is controlling her life, while showing how she will do what she can to fix her mistake. Jamie Lee Curtis is the star of the film because every time she is on camera we seeing everything upped to the next level. Ben Tavassoli and Jeff Hepnher both complete the main cast and both do a solid enough role.

StoryThe story follows a former staff worker for the Vice President and one of the major parts of a project which saw many people killed, she has moved on with her life away from politics, hoping to one day tell the truth against the now current President. This story is a heavy political set up which shows us just how they will do anything to cover up any secrets, the story does jump around between the two times and careers that Libby has which does just come and go way to often. The problem with this story comes from the fact this could have been a lot more intense because of the subject matter we are going into.

ThrillerThe could be a thriller that is truly one of the most intense movies of the year, because the subject could have been showing bigger consequences instead of a couple of friendly conversations.

SettingsThe film is set in the everyday location, it shows how easy it could be to get people coming after somebody who might hold a secret.


Scene of the Movie –
Jamie Lee Curtis scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does become very predictable.

Final ThoughtsThis is a predictable thriller that does tackle a bigger subject matter that goes through cover ups, we are saved by Jamie Lee Curtis scene stealing performance.

 

Overall: Predictable, through entertaining.

Rating

 

 

Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Director: Gary Dauberman

Writer: Gary Dauberman (Screenplay) James Wan (Story)

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Michael Cimino, Samara Lee

 

Plot: While babysitting the daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a teenager and her friend unknowingly awaken an evil spirit trapped in a doll.


Tagline – The Next Chapter In The Conjuring Universe

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Relentless Scares

 

Story: Annabelle Comes Home starts one year after the Warren’s Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine (Farmiga) bring the Annabelle doll home, knowing its power to control the other items inside their blessed room. With Ed and Lorraine going on a business trip, it leaves their daughter Judy (Grace) with girl next door babysitter Mary Ellen (Iseman), who has planned a little birthday surprise.

When Mary Ellen’s best friend Daniela (Sarife) decides to visit, with questions about the house, getting a moment alone, she sneaks into the blessed room, only to unleash a host of evil upon the three for a night of terror, all thanks to the dreaded Annabelle doll.

 

Thoughts on Annabelle Comes Home

 

Characters – Judy Warren is the daughter of the famous paranormal investigators, she is treated differently at school because of this, with some students being scared, while others just bully her, she does see spirits too and is a shy little girl, she just wants to make friends like any young girl and is struggling with the fact nobody will be her friend except her babysitter Mary Ellen. She does know how to handle herself when hauntings start happening around her house though. Mary Ellen is the girl next door babysitter, she might well be worried about who will take her to homecoming, but she is a friend that Judy needs. Daniela Rios is the best friend of Mary Ellen, she invites herself over to look around, in hopes that she could find a way to connect with her deceased father, whose death was an accident, but she believes was her fault, she unleashes all the evil items on the household, which would make her truly horrible, until you add in the reason why she is trying to find forgiveness. Ed and Lorraine are the familiar faces, only they are basically extended cameos in the film. Bob is the love interest of Mary Ellen and he does through the generic awkward moments of trying to ask her out, he is good for a laugh too.

PerformancesMcKenna Grace takes over the role of the daughter, she does make us believe that her character has become distant from the world around her, makes us believe she is feeling lonely and isolated too. Madison Iseman makes for an easy pick for the babysitter, she comes off friendly and gives the scream level required to show the fear. Katie Sarife is strong as friend who unleashes everything, somehow making a character we could hate feel sympathy towards. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson do seem to be here as a draw, only they are barely even in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a babysitter’s friend visiting the Warren’s house who unleashes all the evil from the safety, only for the three girls needing to put a halt to this before they can become the latest victims of the curses they have. This story does have a few positives and negatives, the first positive being see how the daughter of the Warren’s is struggling with making connections in life because of their work, we could have easily dived deeper with this, but it was nice to see a change in why somebody is isolated. The pure number of different evil figures we meet through the film is brilliant to see because this opens the doors to seemingly endless amounts of spin off movies now, which could be seen as a negative because, while this is an Annabelle movie, it does tend to focus on the other evil, instead of the main one attached to Annabelle. We could get into character decisions, which aren’t the smartest especially when it comes to knowing who the character of Judy is meant to be.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film, is an endless amounts of jump scares, this does work because each does have its own way of being effective, even if a lot if music goes silent and either a boom or something charging the screen. The mystery comes from each new evil that we get to see, we get glimpses into a few leading us to only want to know more.

SettingsThe film is set in one singular location, the Warren house, this has all the evil set up within it, which means once it comes out and traps them, they don’t know what will come next.

Special EffectsThe effect in the film are strong throughout, with each creation look different, with a couple of tricks for the Ferryman coming off nicely.


Scene of the Movie –
The circular shot, I am a fan of this shot even if it was the same as the Nun.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I can’t help but think one of the rules for babysitting at the Warren’s, would be, anything slightly strange happens, get out until we come home.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice jump scare filled horror, it has plenty of references to the previous films and does leave us wanting more from this universe.

 

Overall: Jump scares for everyone.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – A – Anti-Social (2015)

Director: Reg Traviss

Writer: Reg Traviss (Screenplay)

Starring: Gregg Sulkin, Meghan Markle, Josh Myers, Christian Berkel, Michael Maris, Andrew Shim

 

Plot: Central London, today; Dee is an anarchic street-artist confronting the system, Marcus is an armed robber on a jewellery store crime-wave. For the two brothers, being Anti-Social is a way of life.


Tagline – A Way Of Life

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Messy

 

Story: Anti-Social starts as we meet street artist Dee (Sulkin), his model girlfriend Kirsten (Markle) and his armed robber brother Marcus (Myers) who has been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons now. Dee is about to be given motivation from Philip (Berkel) who sees his potential as an artist, while Marcus is getting deeper into the world of crime.

Dee is given the chance to escape the rough streets of crime, only to find himself being caught in the middle of the drug war his brother has started in the streets of London.

 

Thoughts on Anti-Social

 

Characters – Dee is a street artist in London, think of him like the Banksy of the local era. His art work has grabbed the attention of many with his big opportunity coming his way, when his brother gets into trouble, he is forced to balance his own future for his brother’s. Marcus is part of an armed robbery gang that are terrorising London, he has rivals from both sides of the law which has put him in the middle of a drug war, he never asks his brother to help him. Kirsten is the model girlfriend of Dee’s, she is an American that isn’t used to the world Dee is from, she doesn’t do much else other than support Dee. Philip is the man from the art world that could easily make Dee’s life better and is willing to make this happen.

PerformancesGregg Sulkin in the leading role is solid enough, we see his difficult life decision being made well enough, though he does lack that true charisma for a leading role. Meghan Markle is the biggest draw for this film now because of her royal status, only she is completely wasted here, given next to nothing to do. Josh Myers gives us a character which only leaves us hating his character, this is something you will see from nearly all of the criminal side of this film.

StoryThe story here follows two brothers whose lives are going in very different directions only for the one that is about to escape, needing to return to criminal world where he must make up for his brother’s error. The way this story is told feels very messy, the idea that the street artist getting a bring break is simple and effective along with the idea that he could be made to make a decision about his future. It is the time spent with the criminal brother, we gain no sympathy for him or his crew, we learn nothing about why they are committing these crimes doesn’t help. The number of gangs also isn’t shown in anyway to make us truly understand the world we are living in and while the final act does have tension, it seems to come from the wrong reasoning.

CrimeThe crime world we enter in this film is gangs and robbers, we focus on one young man about to leave this world, who gets dragged back into it after his brother’s action, it shows how in London people are willing to just commit crimes for the fun of it.

SettingsThe film is set in London and shows us just where the criminals will act to try and make a living from hurting other people.


Scene of the Movie –
The airport.

That Moment That Annoyed Me No sympathy for the criminals.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy crime movie which only ends up making you not care about the characters like it should.

 

Overall: Messy and drags along.

Rating

 

 

A Murder of Innocence (2019)

Director: Shawn Justice

Writer: Shawn Justice, Aimee Anderson (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel MacMillan, Frank Chiesurin, Xander Steel, Katie O’Grady, Marc Steele, Scott Galbraith, Jeremy McLaughlin, Lily Haug

 

Plot: Based on a true story, a community is rocked by the double-homicide of a prominent couple and the local police struggle to find the killer. As a darkness settles over the town, Albert, the new resident pastor must help his church and family overcome the aftershocks by providing stability, healing and hope while his wife Aimee must come to grips with her own fear through her faith.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Real-Life Crime Drama

 

Story: A Murder of Innocence starts when new pastor Albert Anderson (Chiesurin), his wife Aimee (MacMillan) and six kids move to a new town to take over the local church, the community is very tight and the people are welcoming to new residents.

When a couple of the most-respected members of the neighbourhood are murdered, this puts panic in the community, with Aimee becoming paranoid for her own family’s safety, with Sheriff Kirk Tomlin (Steel) trying to solve the murders before everyone getting out of control pointing fingers at each other, Albert will face his toughest task, to bring the community back together in their time of need.

 

Thoughts on A Murder of Innocence

 

Characters – Albert is the new pastor in town, he does everything to make his town see he has come to do good for the religious neighbourhood, he will face a difficult couple of weeks after the murder of two members of his community, which will see the locals getting upset, scared and even with his wife dealing with these problems too. Aimee is the pastor’s wife, she is just as welcoming as he is, trying to make everybody feel comfortable with the new Pastor, after the murders, she does become paranoid, needing reassurance that they are safe. Sheriff Kirk Tomlin is left to try and solve the crime, he doesn’t have much to go on and doesn’t know if anyone in his neighbourhood could have done this. We do meet plenty of members of the community, each one that will have their own reason for suspecting somebody for the crime.

PerformancesRachel MacMillan and Frank Chiesurin both give us the strongest lead performances in the film, they bring real emotions that the real people would have gone through during the events of the film. the rest of the cast don’t hit the levels of the lead two, though Xander Steel does make big improvement through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a religious community that are welcoming a new pastor, only to be left in shock after the murders of the respected member of the community. This causes panic with in the community until the murderer is captured, with on the Pastor to try and keep the people calm. This story does feel like it could be a made for television drama, because it does keep the themes on the softer side, without hitting the level of violence involved in the crime. We do have a religious undertone which will see a lot of praying going on, which is fine for the neighbourhood, but we don’t need to see this happening this often. The crime investigation never feels as intense as it should be though.

CrimeThe crime is a horrible double homicide, seeing how people react to this is the important part of the story.

SettingsThe small community created here shows us how close everybody is and will be when it comes to getting to make sure they are safe within their own homes.


Scene of the Movie –
Welcoming the Pastor to the church.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Sheriff Kirk reading a statement, which comes off like a draft reading, over any acting.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting real-crime drama, based on a real events and the effect it had on the neighbourhood. It doesn’t ever hit any levels of intensity, but is more about showing the people coming together.

 

Overall: Real-Life Crime Drama.

Rating