Posted on Friday, August 30th, 2019 by Matthew Monagle
It isn’t often that movies blow things up – metaphorically, of course – the third time around, especially when the first two installments are a hit with their intended audience. In 2013, Gerard Butler starred in Olympus Has Fallen, a mid-budget blockbuster where one intrepid Secret Service agent defended the White House against an invading force. In 2016, Butler and company found even more success with London Has Fallen, this time putting Butler’s Mike Banning – and his President-defending ways – on foreign soil. After two movies and more than $370 million at the box office, it would not have come as a surprise if Angel Has Fallen was just a simple twist on a familiar formula.
Instead, writer-director Ric Roman Waugh stepped and made the franchise his own. “It needed to have my stamp on it,” Waugh explains, noting that he took the structure of the existing Angel Has Fallen script and added elements more in keeping with his own filmography. Following That Which I Love Destroys Me, his 2015 documentary on the effects of PTSD in the military, Waugh had plenty to say on the impact a lifetime of service could have on both the body and the mind. The traumas of the modern military quickly became a focal point for Angel Has Fallen. “They’re dealing with a very different type of post-traumatic stress,” Waugh continues. “They’re dealing with war addiction. They’re dealing with being in battle for so many years now that their brains are becoming wired to it.”