Boredom sets in long before the start of Angel Has Fallen.
I start my journey to the movie by changing out of my work clothes into something more comfortable. Instead of something complex like a dress shirt with buttons and a collar along with khaki pants that require a belt, I wear a loose-fitting t-shirt and a light pair of cargo shorts. I want something simple and uncomplicated, like the plot to an action movie boiled down to “guy is framed, guy wants revenge, guy kills guys for revenge.” It took only one person to pick out both of my outfits for the day, an accomplishment that seems remarkable compared to the three people who wrote the script to Angel Has Fallen, completely different from the two people who wrote the story of said movie. A total of five people were needed to tell another convoluted story of Gerard Butler running from slightly-bearded men with guns for two hours. Compared to the 15 minutes it took me to figure out the clothes appropriate for the day, it’s hard to figure out which effort was more difficult to do, or more fun.
5 p.m. and the theater I’m going to is across the street from my local mall. I’ve got a couple hours to kill so I swing by my local Newbury Comics to see if the new Friendly Fires record was on shelves. They didn’t have a copy available and I was disappointed. I couldn’t see my specific reaction to said news but I think it would look similar to that of Morgan Freeman throughout Angel Has Fallen. Once again playing the President of the United States, Freeman’s reactions are a healthy mixture of boredom, annoyance, disinterest and exhaustion. More of the latter actually, considering that Freeman is comatose and bed-ridden for most of the movie. I almost felt sorry for such a commanding presence and talented performer to be deemed less important to the film than an elongated chase scene with an 18-wheeler. Then again he was probably given a significant chunk of the estimated $80 million budget to participate, whereas I paid $30 to fill my car with gas and then another $14 for the eventual movie ticket. Couldn’t I have stayed home and napped like Morgan Freeman?
I walk through the mall and notice faces passing me by, all showing a wide range of emotions: joy over a funny conversation, frustration over missing out on a sale at American Eagle, even anticipation over getting the chance to leave the mall and stop carrying so many damn shopping bags. It’s fascinating to think we as humans are capable of so many feelings to express and it later made me wonder what direction Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch) gave to his actors that had them repress all possible emotions aside from….toughness? Roboticism? Constipation? Then again, the people I passed at the mall weren’t being forced to play out scenarios that are a miraculous combination of convoluted and mundane. Sometimes those scenarios are so boring that Angel Has Fallen would rather shake the camera and rapidly cut between characters than focus on anything. Maybe it was out of shame, like the kind felt by the guy walking behind his girlfriend carrying four Victoria Secret bags.
6 p.m. and I felt like enjoying food at the local Red Robin (don’t worry they’re not a sponsor, I just like their burgers). Helping that burger go down was an ice cold glass of Angry Orchard, a bright spot on a day that was rather uneventful, before and after the cider. It’s nice when the tiniest element of a daily routine is surprising -enough to be memorable, like engaging in conversation about EA’s crooked business strategy with a friendly bartender or Nick Nolte sporting a Santa Claus beard stumbling into the movie from the woods to blow up soldiers for Butler’s character. Sure he looks confused and overtired running through the trees garbling lines, but hey so does Butler. At least it’s funny to see Nolte hobble through explosions and rattle his vocal chords to say lines about being paranoid of the government putting machines on his damn lawn or whatever. Hell if The Cannon Group kept Charles Bronson shooting gang members well into his 70s, why will no studio let Nick Nolte do the same?
But I finally got to 7 p.m., the start of the movie. Regardless of what I was about to endure or how little interest I showed in the movie, I was to do my due diligence as a film critic and give the movie a fair shake. The opening studio credits came up, I blinked….and then the movie was over. Somehow the entire 121 minutes of film that played before me suddenly blinked out of existence in my memory and I felt absolutely nothing from the experience. But..I just recounted specificities from the movie in the paragraphs….How did this happen? Is my mind collapsing in on itself?! WHAT MORE DO I HAVE TO SAY?!
Oh right, Angel Has Fallen sucked.