Is it possible that Angel Has Fallen, that a mainstream Hollywood movie would actually tell the story of Neocons and Deep Staters attempting to remove a new president from office using a Russia Collusion Hoax that the media swallow and spread without question…?
If you are at all familiar with the Fallen franchise, you know that, yes, it is possible.
Let me take you back to 2013.
This was one of those two-fer years Hollywood frequently delivers — you know, where we get two movies about the exact same thing. There was 1998, the year we got two meteor movies (Deep Impact, Armageddon). There was 1997-98, the year we got two movies about runner Steve Prefontaine (Prefontaine, Without Limits). In 2000, we got two Mars movies (Red Planet, Mission to Mars). In 2006, we got two movies about magic (The Prestige, The Illusionist). In 2012, we got two Snow White flicks (Mirror, Mirror; Snow White and the Huntsman). And somehow, in 2013, we got two movies where the White House is attacked.
The most prestigious of the two, by far, was director Roland Emmerich’s $150 million blockbuster White House Down, which featured an A-level cast — Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Channing Tatum, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins — and all the prestige that comes with a Big Summer Movie.
The red-headed stepchild was director Antoine Fuqua’s the $70 million Olympus Has Fallen, which starred the guy from 300 (Gerard Butler) and a decent cast that looked to be slumming: Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd. Also working against this stepchild was its March release date — in other words, not a big summer movie.
And then, something no one expected happened… Olympus out-grossed White House Down — I mean, kicked its sweet ass all over the place.
White House Down opened to just $25 million and petered out at $73 million domestic.
Olympus opened to a surprising $30 million and grossed $99 million domestic. From there, while White House Down disappeared forever with only $28 million in home video sales, Olympus became a cable TV staple and grossed nearly $40 million on home video.
White House Down did make more worldwide ($205 million, compared to $170 million), but with that astronomical budget, it was a total wipeout.
The reasons for this disparity are not shocking. Olympus might have been a B-movie trying very hard to look like an A-movie, but it was a helluva lot more fun than its Triple A competition. Olympus was openly patriotic and apolitical in its fight against the North Koreans, while White House Down pitted Americans against Americans using the tired trope of white supremacists. Jamie Foxx basically played President Obama, right down to the nicotine gum, which was a real buzzkill for those of us looking for a little escapism.
Then came London Has Fallen in 2016, which, at the time, I called the “most subversive movie of the year.” Here, at last, was a movie that refused to compromise in its American patriotism and in portraying Islamic terrorism as it really is — savage and barbaric.
Naturally, our snowflake critical class was outraged, but London was not only all of the above; it was terrifically entertaining and made more money worldwide than Olympus — $206 million, compared to $170 million.
Still, I went into Angel with some trepidation. Would it be an apology for London?
I needn’t have worried.
If anything, Angel works even harder to poke a finger into the left-wing establishment’s eye by making a total mockery of their Russia Collusion Hoax.
Some mild spoilers coming…
Morgan Freeman’s Allan Trumbull has just become president of these here United States, and he is sick and tired of America going to war, sick of the war machine, sick of endless wars, sick of it all. He’s going to institute some real changes to this effect, and guess who doesn’t like it…?
The Deep State.
The Military Contractors.
And so, to rid themselves of a new president, they go to extraordinary lengths to — and this is not a joke — fabricate a Russia Collusion Hoax, to frame an innocent man for colluding with the Russians.
Again, this is no joke. The media eat the hoax up and spread it without ever questioning what the Deep State spoon-feeds them.
And all the bad guys want to go to war with … Russia, Russia, Russia.
Better yet, near the end of the movie, there’s a shot of Vladimir Putin that will explode every pinhead at CNN.
In the form of Nick Nolte, who practically steals the movie, we even have a sympathetic survivalist character.
On top of that, our hero, Butler’s Mike Banning, is dealing with opioid addiction.
When the credits rolled, I was certain “Donald Trump” would show up as one of the writers.
The best news, though, is that Angel Has Fallen is a solid genre movie, a B-movie once again working its butt off to be an A-movie.
The plot hums along. Some things won’t surprise you at all (the villain reveal), some things will (the sudden death of a major character), but the action is solid and there is even a theme at work here about the physical and mental toll battle has on men, be it Vietnam, Iraq, or protecting a president.
Can’t ask for more than that.
Oh, and don’t miss the post-credit scene and its none-too-subtle tweak at touchy-feely, New Age therapies.