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Film / Angel Has Fallen

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"Don’t you see that I’m being set up?"
"The President’s not safe. They’re going to try and finish the job. I am not going to stop until I prove who did this."
Mike Banning

Angel Has Fallen is a 2019 action thriller and a direct sequel to Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen, directed by Ric Roman Waugh and starring Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett, Piper Perabo, Nick Nolte, Danny Huston, Lance Reddick, and Tim Blake Nelson.

After the events of the previous film, Secret Service agent Mike Banning has been framed for an assassination attempt on President Trumbull. Now on the run from both his own agency and the FBI, Mike must race against time to clear his name and uncover the real threat within the country.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

Angel Has Fallen contains examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: From the first film we learn that President Asher was the direct successor to Barack Obama (due to a portrait of Obama being seen in the White House), and we also learn that Asher won reelection. However, the end sequence shows President Trumbull at a G20 meeting with several real life world leaders note , including Angela Merkel who retired in 2021. As such, it can be assumed that Angel Has Fallen takes place in 2021 at the latest, if it is also assumed that Obama did not contest (or lost) the 2012 election, paving the way for Asher in 2012 and 2016, then Trumbull in 2020.
  • Arc Words: “War is about deception.”
  • Assassination Attempt: The main plot is kicked off by an attempt to kill President Trumbull via kamikaze drones.
  • Bald of Authority: David Gentry, the retiring Secret Service Director, is bald.
  • Big Bad: Vice President Martin Kirby is responsible for the crisis, with Wade Jennings as his Dragon-in-Chief.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Two mercenaries hired by Wade attempt to kidnap Leah and her daughter, but Clay comes in and saves her, killing both mercenaries in the process.
  • Blood Knight: Wade Jenning. He wants to start a new war because, in addition to the billions he could potentially earn in it, he also wants to be on the battlefield again.
  • Clear My Name: The main plot involves Mike being set up by an unknown party for an attempted assassination on the President of the United States. With this, he sets out to find whoever was responsible.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Mike's father, Clay, has become of these. He's a former Army Ranger who served in the Vietnam War. The horrors he experienced in the war left him with severe PTSD and he's become a paranoid recluse with a deep distrust of the government. But when mercenaries show up to kill Mike and himself, he turns out to be Properly Paranoid because he uses explosive booby traps planted around his remote mountain cabin to kill most of the mercenaries.
  • Denser and Wackier/Lighter and Softer: An extremely mild case. While still deathly serious, the film does feature more humor and a generally lower bodycount than the previous films, and no head of state actually gets assassinated.
  • Dented Iron: Mike is suffering from concussions and other lingering side effects of the injuries he's taken over the years. He suffers from chronic headaches, and has to use prescription painkillers to keep them under control. Despite this, he's still just as badass as ever.
  • The Dragon: Travis Cole to Wade Jennings, and Wade Jennings to Martin Kirby.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: While Kirby is the mastermind behind the assassination attempts on Trumbull and subsequent Frame-Up of Mike, Jennings does all the heavy lifting for him and gets a lot more screentime. Quite tellingly, Jennings is defeated and killed after a spectacular final battle against Mike while Kirby ends up arrested for treason and surviving to the end of the film with comparatively less fanfare.
  • Evil Former Friend: Wade is an old army buddy of Mike's.
  • False Flag Operation: The Big Bad has Wade plant evidence that Russia was behind the assassination attempt, in hopes of triggering a war and increasing America's power as a result.
  • Final Battle: Wade and his mercenaries making another attempt on Trumbull's life, with only Mike, Gentry, and a small SWAT squad standing in their way.
  • General Ripper: Despite not being a general, Vice President Kirby still fits the trope in spirit with his dogged determination to start a war with Russia over the assassination attempt on Trumbull. Taken even further when it turns out he arranged the attempt so he could start the war.
  • Graceful Loser: After Mike mortally wounds Wade in their Final Battle, Wade calmly sits down and tells Mike that he was glad he died fighting against Mike.
  • The Heavy: Wade is the one who gives Mike the most trouble in the film.
  • He Knows Too Much: Deconstructed. Wade kills Agent Thompson and her partner for knowing to much about his operations, but it proved useless since he doesn't have enough time to destroy the evidence she collected; in fact, it gives him an increasingly short timespan to kill Trumbull. This winds up getting Vice President Kirby arrested.
  • Hero Antagonist: FBI Agent Helen Thompson hunts Mike only because she genuinely believes he is a traitor.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • Clay was a decorated U.S. Army Ranger and tunnel rat who served in the Vietnam War. From what little we hear about it, Clay was the protagonist of a Platoon-esque war film.
    • Agent Thompson references having had two previous conflicts with Salient in Iraq.
  • Inspector Javert: FBI Agent Helen Thompson is hunting Mike because she's genuinely convinced that he's a traitor. When Mike provides just enough evidence of his innocence, she switches gears and goes after Wade.
  • Idiot Ball: Agent Helen Thompson, upon discovering Salient Global's possible hand in the attempt on the President's life, goes to investigate them at their own compound with only two other agents. You can guess how it turns out for them.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Mike's primary conflict is with Wade, as he's not only the most prominent antagonist in the film, he's also the one responsible for framing him.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Although Kirby is the one behind the plot, much like Aamir Barkawi from the previous film, he never gets personally involved in the conflict, or an action scene.
  • Noodle Incident: Agent Thompson references having had two unpleasant run-ins with Salient in Iraq.
  • Obviously Evil: It is ridiculously blatant Vice President Kirby is the mastermind behind the assassination attempt on President Trumbull.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Wade is the CEO of Salient Global, personally leads his remaining men in the attack on the President in the climax, and goes toe-to-toe in a gunfight and knife fight with Mike at the end.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Not long after Mike proves his innocence to Thompson, she is later killed by Wade alongside her partner when she investigates him.
  • Redshirt Army: Unsurprisingly, once again anyone protecting the president who isn’t Mike is likely to get killed. A squad of SWAT police do put up a strong enough fight in the Final Battle to qualify as Mauve Shirts and Gentry also clearly makes it out.
  • Retired Badass: Clay, Mike's father, is a Vietnam veteran, and is actually quite capable in combat.
  • Retirony: Subverted. Secret Service Director David Gentry is nearing retirement, but he survives the Final Battle and makes it to retirement. He even gets to arrest the Big Bad!
  • Rooftop Confrontation: The Final Battle culminates in one of these between Mike and Wade.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Agent Thompson is shot dead by Wade.
  • The Starscream: Vice President Kirby attempts to kill President Trumbull so that he can start a war with Russia.
  • The Stinger: A mid-credits scene shows Mike and Clay having personal mind therapy. Clay spends the entire time saying that it’s stupid while Mike defends it until the two are stuck inside sensory deprivation tanks, at which point Mike concedes to his point.
    Clay: I'm gonna pee in here.
  • Title Drop: After Mike is arrested for the assassination attempt, a news reporter states that "President Trumbull's top guardian angel has fallen tonight".
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Trumbull was actually relatively hawkish in the first film and even somewhat so in the second film. By the time he's become President himself, some of President Asher's idealism seems to have rubbed off on him, as he's now following a pro-peace policy rather reminiscent of his predecessor's.
  • Tranquil Fury: President Trumbull, when he confronted Vice President Kirby for ordering the assassination attempt on his life.
  • War Hawk: After President Trumbull is left in a coma, Vice President Kirby begins preparing for war against Russia, which evidence faked by Salient shows to be behind the assassination attempt. This is the biggest clue that he is the mastermind behind the assassination attempt.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Mike and Wade, being former army buddies.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Vice President Kirby genuinely believes his actions are for the best of the country.
  • Western Terrorists: Salient Global, and Vice President Kirby.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Benjamin Asher, the former President, doesn't show up in this movie, nor is he mentioned. It is likely that he retired due to term limits.
  • Worthy Opponent: Wade considers Mike to be his to the point of being happy he died fighting against him.

"It’s our moments of struggle that define us."