Writer-director Tom Getty’s loathsome America Has Fallen adds itself to the apparent Fallen cinematic universe, which is forming around America being in various states of peril (though, Gerard Butler did save London once.) Butler’s Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen aren’t good movies but Getty’s desperate attempt to reflect those films make them look like masterpieces.
America Has Fallen is so distractingly awful, trying to make a grand action picture out of a few cents. I don’t condone knocking indie filmmakers, who we desperately need to make movie-going continually interesting, but if you don’t have the resources to produce an effects-laden movie then you should not make one. Most of America Has Fallen looks like video game graphics were put into each scene any time a building explodes or a car crashes.
“…the overacting, the main star’s blank stares – that there isn’t a moment to grab onto during the movie.”
Even so, the effects aren’t always the worst part of the movie. Getty is a stiff leading man, lacking any charisma or presence, in a race against time that is completely devoid of tension. He stars as Ryan Taylor, an ex-Marine, who meets a girl on a bus one day. They exchange pleasantries and flirtations, even appearing to know a little bit about the other, from previous observations on the bus, without ever having spoken.
The girl gives Ryan her number and gets off the bus and he immediately calls her, which triggers an explosion at a nearby building (this is only the beginning of a series of ludicrous contrivances the movie piles on.) The explosion is traced to Ryan’s cell phone, which makes him the primary target in Agent Carter’s (Curtis Caldwell) terror investigation.
What ensues is a race against the clock as Ryan tries to shift the focus onto terror leader Mikel Razanov (Philip Lewis), who has a distorted face so he wears a mask that makes him a cross between Darth Vader and Bane.
“…feels like the finished product of something a few friends with a camera and a MacBook shot on a Saturday afternoon.”
Everything surrounding America Has Fallen is so distracting – the aforementioned effects, the overacting, the main star’s blank stares – that there isn’t a moment to grab onto during the movie. If B-movie action films are Getty’s calling, he’s going to have to think of something more creative and spend more time refining his craft. Even the grindhouse crowd won’t be able to find many pleasures in America Has Fallen, which feels like the finished product of something a few friends with a camera and a MacBook shot on a Saturday afternoon.
America Has Fallen (2017) Directed by Tom Getty. Written by Tom Getty. Starring Tom Getty, Curtis Caldwell and Phillip Lewis.