Spoilers Ahead for Angel Has Fallen 

There’s always been a mild conservative tinge to the Olympus Has Fallen Movies. Some of that just comes from contrast. The first movie was paired with another Die Hard-But-In-The-White-House action movie called White House Down when it was released in 2013.

With that film, a corrupt Republican House Majority Leader conspired with gun toting redneck terrorists to kill the black president of the United States as a means of taking power (really…). In comparison, Olympus Has Fallen was a more traditional action movie in the style of Invasion USA or Red Dawn, albeit with a grittier modern tone.

As such, in the age of political correctness it’s easy to dismiss casting North Koreans or radical Muslims as uncomplicated villainous bad guys. That accrued the series a minor amount of criticism with accusations that the movies were “xenophobic” and “racist” from the fringe of critics who bothered to watch these movies in the first place.

Snobbishness aside, the movie by and large aren’t great. Compared to great action movies like Die Hard, which they’re clearly borrowing from, these films come off as cheap and rushed. Still they do have a solid fanbase (including myself). If nothing else they’re excellent counterprogramming from Hollywood to appeal to the conservative crowd.

Maybe it’s not surprising then that the third film in the franchise has arguably the most conservative subplot in any movie this year where a politician frames the Russian government for an attack for political gain.

To quote John Nolte’s beautifully worded review,

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 Neocons. 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.

This might all seem fairly on the nose but as I said in my review for Geeks Under Grace, the movie doesn’t really have much to say on the nature of Russian collusion beyond just using it as a punchline. This is still a movie basically anyone could watch without feeling preached to.

Even so, that reveal is somewhat striking coming from a Hollywood movie. It’s even weirder when you realize this film has been in production for 2-3 years. This wasn’t some spur of the moment story decision to make a quick buck off a recent headline.

This movie got through the scripting stage, was shot and was successfully edited without revision to the point where it’s being released now in theaters just a few months after the Mueller Report exonerated Trump from the claims that his administration was colluding with Russia.

That two year long accusation rattled the entire country with constant paranoia and false accusations from a news media who was so obsessed with impeaching and imprisoning the dually elected president. The idea that someone got a movie through Hollywood that mocks the notion of Russian collusion and that states that politicians and the media will peddle lies for personal gain is bizarre to behold.

The Russian collusion story was wrong for the same reason most conspiracy theories are wrong, because the person believing WANTS it to be true. Conspiracy stories validate the narratives we tell ourselves that we’re the lone hero fighting a world gone mad.

The idea that Trump was dually elected sent the left into a depression spiral. Blaming a foreign power was a great was to externalize the fault of Trump’s victory without having to self reflect on the failures of the left. After two years it’s clear more than ever that the left WANTED to believe Trump was a Russian stooge. Liberal Hollywood allowing this to pass by unscathed seems like almost a fluke.

I don’t know what inspired the producers of Angel Has Fallen to be so brave but I applaud them for it. If this were a more notable movie getting more attention they’d probably get losing friends in Hollywood right now. I’d still say that like its predecessors the movie is fairly lukewarm and disposable as an action movie (Nolte specifically has definitely been overrating it) but it’s one I think the right audience will enjoy. Given this movie’s initial success with a solid $21 million opening weekend it would appear a fourth film in the franchise is incoming.

 
 
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