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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Killers Anonymous (2019)

Director: Martin Owen

Writer: Seth Johnson, Elizabeth Morris, Martin Owen (Screenplay)

Starring: Tommy Flanagan, Jessica Alba, Gary Oldman, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Tim McInnerny, Suki Waterhouse, Sam Hazeldine

 

Plot: A support group of killers is held regularly. The participants sit in a circle of trust and share their transgressions.


Tagline – Take It One Slay At A Time

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Slick as it Thinks it is

 

Story: Killers Anonymous starts with the assassination attempt of a Senator, the assassins involved are going to a private support meeting which only contains fellow assassins, where the killers can talk about their murders, with the newest member of the group Alice (Brown) getting to meet the paranoid members.

When The Man (Oldman) learns that the assassination failed, he wants answers which see the different members of the support group trying to figure out who is to blame for their failures and needing to clean up the messes left behind.

 

Thoughts on Killers Anonymous

 

Characters – The Man is the assassin’s handler, he puts them in the right place and deals with things when things go wrong, he is on his latest operation which has a connection to everything going on. Markus is one of the more experienced assassins that is at the meeting, he isn’t happy with new faces arriving in his meeting. Alice is the mysterious new member at the meeting, she doesn’t say much which only makes the other assassin’s question who and why she is there. Jade is one of the assassins that works under the Man, she has made a mistake because of her own personal life, which has only annoyed The Man.

PerformancesThis movie does have a big cast and is one that is using the biggest names to try and sell the movie, Gary Oldman isn’t in the film that much, the same can be sad for Jessica Alba, Tommy Flanagan does get top billing even though he is only one of many in the support group, with only Rhyon Nicole Brown having anything part of mystery about her character.

StoryThe story here follows a group of killers that meet to discuss what happened to make the latest job go wrong, this is a regular occurrence, well the meetings are, but soon things start to unravel to show us just what is happening, why the new woman is in the meeting and what went wrong. This is where the story is trying to become a fancy slick mystery, but in reality it is failing to capture this on so many different levels, it is one of those crime mysteries which tries to make everything single moment mean something that could turn the story on its head, only to end up giving us too many characters to focus on, without giving us enough information to make the characters interesting enough to care about.

Action/Crime/MysteryThe action in this film is saved for two main fight sequences, which are almost blink and you miss them, while the crime world does show us just how the killers could operate, the mystery in the film is the highlight because we get to see just who could be trusted or who can’t be.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the one building, during the meeting and around the breaks, this does help contain the problem they are facing, only for it to not give us enough to see for what could be a bigger prospective film.


Scene of the Movie –
Church fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many assassins talking mostly nothing important.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that believes it is one of the slickest of the year, it never gets close to being that and only ends up leaving us disappointed.

 

Overall: Gives killers a bad name.

Rating

 

 

Point Blank (2019)

Director: Joe Lynch

Writer: Adam G Simon (Screenplay) Fred Cavaye (Characters)

Starring: Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Marcia Gay Harden, Christian Cooke, Teyonah Parris, Bris McGiver, Carly Tamborski

 

Plot: To save his pregnant wife, an emergency room nurse teams up with an injured murder suspect in a race against time, rival criminals and renegade cops.


Tagline – A Hell of a Day. A Hell of a Pair.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Point Blank Action

 

Story: Point Blank starts when emergency room nurse Paul (Mackie) is preparing to have his first child with his wife Taryn (Parris), she is due within weeks, but she gets kidnapped by Mateo (Cooke) who wants Paul to help his injured brother Abe (Grillo) escape from the emergency room after being accused of murdering the DA.

Paul and Abe go on the run with LT Lewis (Harden) tracking them down as we see just who was really behind the murder of the DA.

 

Thoughts on Point Blank

 

Characters – Paul is an emergency room nurse, he is married and about to start his family, his life is exactly where he wants it.  His life takes a big change one this day when he gets forced to help a murder suspect escape from the hospital to save his pregnant wife, meaning he will need to start breaking the law to save her. Abe is the gun for hire that has been injured in the incident, he is the prime suspect and is being set up, where his brother is trying to help him escape, he is street smart and has connections in the criminal world which will help him stay ahead of the law. LT Lewis is the one trying to track down the pair trying to put away the person that killed the DA. Mateo is the brother of Abe that has gone to the extremes to try and get his brother out of custody.

PerformancesAnthony Mackie and Frank Grillo do everything they can with this film, Grillo is starting make a name for himself in the trashing action films now, where he can play the bad boy with ease, Mackie doesn’t do much that you wouldn’t expect from him here though. Marcia Gay Harden gives us the basic cop figure, while Christian Cooke completes the main cast with a basic enough performance.

StoryThe story here follows an emergency nurse that must help a murder suspect to save his kidnapped wife. This is a basic story which I always say is all you need for action at times, this is a remake of a French film, but we are lacking that one thing a good action film needs a villain that feels like a threat, we do get many suspects to who the villain might be because it is clear that Abe never committed a crime. We get moments of the unlikely couple needing to work together only for them to not have enough conflict about what is happening. This is basic storytelling that just never gets intense enough to the level it could do.

ActionThe action involved in the film is the highlight of the film, even if a lot is basic, it does bring the film to life with the car chases involved.

SettingsThe film is set in a big city which does help us understand how many people can be getting crimes done with ease.


Scene of the Movie –
Big D

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough villain potential.

Final ThoughtsThis is a mostly by the book action film that just doesn’t get going.

 

Overall: Forgettable Action Film.

Rating

 

 

Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy (2018)

Director: Don Michael Paul

Writer: Tony Giglio, Don Michael Paul (Screenplay) Paul W.S. Anderson, Tony Giglio (Story)

Starring: Zach McGowan, Danny Glover, Danny Trejo, Velislav Pavlov, Lucy Aarden, Frederick Koehler

 

Plot: After an attack on inmate Frankenstein fails a Black Ops specialist enters the maximum prison to join the illegal Death Race and take down Frankenstein.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Action We Expect, The Thin Story We Expect

 

Story: Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy starts as America has completely broken down, the one former hope Death Race is deemed illegal and has taken the dark web by storm as the prisoners have free roam of the arena formerly used as the prison. Frankenstein (Pavlov, voiced by Nolan North) runs this world, he isn’t like the Frank we have met before, he runs the city and the race.

The government are getting sick of the Death Race and want to bring it down, Baltimore Bob (Glover) runs the races and when new prisoner Connor Gibson (McGowan) is searching to be part of the race, in an attempt to bring down Frankenstein.

 

Thoughts on Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy

 

Characters – Frankenstein rules the death race circuit from behind his mask, this is made clear that he can be replaced with ease and isn’t the same man that we have met in the previous film, this version of Frankenstein isn’t as good-natured or innocent as the previous ones, he is a killer, he will execute people who try to cross him and has created the chaos in the world they are living in. Connor Gibson is the man sent to the prison, he is sent there to take down Frankenstein in an attempt to regain control of the prison, he uses his skills to rise up the ranks to put himself in the position to race Frankenstein. Carley is the seductive and navigator that is on Frankenstein’s arm. Baltimore Bob runs the Death Race operation, he has the connections outside to the outside world and is willing to use them to create the most buzz about the event.

PerformancesZach McGowan gets the action sequences done well through the film, though when it comes to some of the talking moments he does struggle in places, though the script isn’t exactly anything notable. Danny Glover is getting too old for this shit now, he gives us the supporting role you would have come to expect from him now. Velislav Pavlov brings the physical look for Frankenstein, though Nolan North voice work makes the character feel more sinister.

StoryThe story here follows the now illegal death race which has become a dark web sensation in a crumbling American economy, one man gets sent into the prison to eliminate Frankenstein. Now this might be the first actual sequel in the franchise, I kind of got lost after 2 and 3, but if this is a sequel it does show us just how the world changed after what happened with Frankenstein’s escape, how the world continued to fall into disorder. When it comes to the Frankenstein figure, we know he can be replaced, which does explain the evil nature behind this version, though it goes against the need we have to support the underdog wrongfully placed in the prison system. The story is filled with unworthy showdowns with characters we barely know, we do also just resort to too many party scenes which are unrealistic and just want to show off nudity for no reason. The script is also poorly written just turning to explicit swearing insults which are here to sound edgy rather than making sense.

ActionThe action in the racing sequences is the highlight of the film, the final race being the best part of the movie, even if we have plenty of jump cuts.

SettingsThe film is set in the prison locations, the land might be larger now which does make sense for an ever growing environment that has become overrun.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film come from the explosion we see caused during the race itself.


Scene of the Movie –
The race.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of the pointless parties.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another sequel that just doesn’t reach the levels of the previous films, it does have a fun race, though it does fall into the generic filler leading up to the race though.

 

Overall: Fun & Simple

Rating

 

 

Point Man (2019)

Director: Phil Blattenberger

Writer: Phil Blattenberger (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Long, Jacob Keohane, Chase Gutzmore, Marcus Bailey, Matthew Ewald

 

Plot: Set in Vietnam in April 1968 – three months after the tide-turning Tet Offensive and one month after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. – Point Man is the story of a U.S. Army fire team fractured by racial tensions, moral crises, and the crushing pressures of combat in a war nobody wants to fight. Andre “Casper” Allen, a rough-edged ideologue, finds his radical politics put him at odds with the squad’s machine gunner, Silas Meeks. When their search-and-destroy mission in the Mekong Delta goes terribly wrong, both men find themselves pitted against each other and their recalcitrant platoon commander, Lieutenant Sutter. Point men die like flies in the bush, and as loyalties dissolve every step forward comes with a price.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Reality of War

 

Story: Point Man starts in Vietnam with a platoon of mixed raced soldiers, Andre ‘Casper’ Allen (Long), Joe Creighton (Gutzmore), Felix Wake (Bailey) and racist Silas Meeks (Keohane) all under the strict Lieutenant Sutter (Ewald). On their latest mission they four men get separated from their platoon and are left behind enemy lines.

The journey back sees the four men clash with Joe making difficult decisions when they see how the fellow American soldiers are acting, Silas needing to put his racial problems behind him with Casper trying his hardest to keep the four men together knowing it will be the only way they can make it back to safety.

 

Thoughts on Point Man

 

Characters – Andre ‘Casper’ Allen is one of the black soldiers in the platoon, he is tired of the racial divide within the platoon, but after he is split from the platoon, he must do the correct decision-making to see his friends back to safety, the decisions he must face will see him go after his own side that have gone too far in the war. Joe is the one that will do the right thing, he knows just how bad the situations will be and will do the right thing even if it means his life will end doing it. Silas is the racist soldier that ends up with the three black soldiers, he doesn’t want to work with them, but knows this will be the only way to get out of the situation alive, he is always looking out for himself. Lieutenant Sutter is the strict platoon leader that has been forced into difficult decisions, he seems like he going to be the one that is against everyone through this film almost in a cowardly way too.

PerformancesThe performance in this film are interesting because when it comes to the discussion points, we get strong acting from the whole cast, it gets to the conflict side which also plays into the budget which does expose the weak points in this film. Christopher Long in the leading performance shows the chemistry required with Chase Gutzmore and Marcus Bailey, with the tension feeling real with Jacob Keohane.

StoryThe story gives us a glimpse into the mindset of three black soldiers in the Vietnam war, they believe they are just there to be part of the body count, while being given the jobs which are more likely to die, mostly the Point Man role. We see how they react to becoming separated with a racist behind enemy lines and how they must work together to survive, while dealing with the soldiers in the land that could cause just as much problems whichever side of the fight they are on. This story gets to show us how war can affect people, make them do things they wouldn’t normally consider and how the skin colour of these soldiers is going to seeing them get the blame for anything going wrong. This story shows us just how difficult the war was on the victims, how doing the right thing can make you an enemy to your own side. The only part of the film I didn’t like from the story side of things was the final act, it felt to quick.

ActionThe action in this film comes from the standard war related material, we see guns firing and people falling, none of the graphicness of war though.

SettingsWe follow our soldiers through the forests and plains of Vietnam, nothing looks out of place for the settings side of things, though it could have look slightly more war torn.


Scene of the Movie –
The first difficult decision.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The ending was too quick.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong look at the reality of war, we see how the lives of the men would have been affected by their decisions and how they are in constant fear of being the first to be picked off.

 

Overall: Strong Look at War.

Rating