Writing Movie “WRONGS”
By Jim West
Angel Has Fallen
Directed by Ric Roman Waugh
Written by Robert Kamen, Ric Waugh, Matt Cook, Creighton Rothenberger, and Katrin Benedikt
This is the third film in the Fallen series, and Gerald Butler is back again in his role as Secret Service agent, Mike Banning. This time we have Morgan Freeman as the president, and a delightful performance by an aged Nick Nolte as Banning’s father. The cast is solid and the action is well paced, but some moments are so larger than life you would need quite some background before the gap in suspension for disbelief can be well maintained.
Here comes the spoilers.
Mike Banning is trying to escape a building and is desperately outnumbered and out gunned. He almost succeeds but it is revealed this is a live simulation event that is showcasing his old friends new company business for private militarized security forces. Danny Huston plays Wade Jennings perfectly. There is mutual respect and admiration between these two characters. Early on you can guess that it will be these two who go head to head. This is where I would have changed up the film. Set the initial villain as a radical terrorist group and actually have Wade Jennings try to support Mike in promising him to get him legal help etc. when he is arrested for the attempted assassination. Play upon this for most of the film. When Mike escapes and is on the run, he trusts Jennings with his location and discovers when Jennings men attack him and his father in the woods that he is revealed then to be the real bad guy. The terrorist ruse was just to have a scapegoat that is already an established bad guy to go to war with when he gets awarded contracts to fight terrorism abroad. This plays in the ending a bit later I will propose.
Now the film does a decent job with the action and pace. We get a holdup sequence inside a hospital that ends with a foreshadowed rocket launcher ending the rooftop escape. That I would not have done. I would have let Jennings escape. I also would have let the Vice President escape also. Let Banning and the President reunite and then segue to a tropical island somewhere where Jennings has a camp setup and he and the vice president are arguing about the plan going awry and how they now have a terrorist group after them both for trying to pin the assassination on them. Suddenly alarms goes off and the camp is being attacked ay the terrorist who they tried to blame. Then a call comes in to Jennings and Banning asks to be put on speakerphone. It is him and the President in a war room watching the attack on the island. Banning has a final word with Jennings and then the President orders the missile strike that kills the terrorist and the traitors. They look at one another as the room cheers a precision strike upon a terrorist target. Then we establish a possible fourth film with the fallout from this strike.
This series has done well enough to make it to three films, and I feel with better writing we can see Mike Banning take up the fight again for at least one more film. Delay reveals of the real villains as long as you can, and up the stakes to a global war on terror with the ruse and inclusion of an additional scene would make this film much better and setup a fourth and possibly final film for Mike Banning.
Thanks for reading ‘Writing Movie ‘WRONGS’.