Photo Credit / LionsGate
Film Distribution / LionsGate
Runtime 120 minutes.
The first one in this series, Olympus Has Fallen (2013) was pretty good, notable mainly for its score by Trevor Morris and a fine supporting performance by Radha Mitchell. The second, London Has Fallen (2016), was a formulaic idiocy, maybe because Antoine Fuqua, who knows about action, was replaced as director by Babak Najafi.
For this one they have dumped some of the mainstays of the first two. The outstanding Mitchell is no longer the wife of Mike Banning (Gerard Butler, who spent five years preparing to be a lawyer/solicitor in Scotland; when he had the good fortune to be told after all that time that he wasn’t going to make the grade, despite having been President of the Law Society at Glasgow University, he made the wise decision to become an actor), being replaced by Piper Perabo, and Morris was dumped for David Buckley to write the score, and that’s a small minus because the score is a huge part of a good chase film and Morris is very good.
But the new director for this third film, Ric Roman Waugh, is clearly better for this film series than either of the first two as he has put together a highly entertaining chase film. As with the others, Banning is in almost every scene as a Secret Service agent guarding the President, Alan Turnbull (Morgan Freeman). Don’t go see this for Freeman’s performance, though, because he spends most of the film in a coma.
He got that way because of a drone attack on the President which is blamed on Mike. In an interview Butler jokingly said that he was disappointed that his character fell from grace so fast. So all the world is after Mike and they are chasing him throughout the entire movie.
Butler gives a good performance, but so does Danny Huston (currently seen in Paramount Network’s Yellowstone) as Mike’s longtime friend, Wade Jennings. However, the best performance in the movie is by Nick Nolte as Mike’s outcast father. Maybe Nick will finally get some notice and award fanfare because he deserves it for this role.
This is better than its precursors. While this might be damning with faint praise, despite the absurd gun battles, which unfortunately seem de rigueur for this genre, this is an entertaining chase film until the puerile ending