REVIEW: America Has Fallen (2017)

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Filmmaker Tom Getty comes up with his bravest film to date where he proves he truly is a jack-of-all-trades with this independent action thriller.

Ryan Taylor is a man who has found himself in a situation he never imagined. While on a bus in Pittsburgh, he meets a woman named Amanda and after a conversation, she gives him her number. Or so he thinks. When he dials the number, a bomb goes off in the Snyder Building and Ryan soon finds himself arrested and interrogated by FBI Agent Ron Carter. Not too long after the bombing, the masked leader of the terrorist group responsible arrives on television and declares war.

Ryan, who is an ex-Marine, makes his escape and begins a mission to clear his name. Using various methods as well as escape, Ryan finds leads into the ones responsible for his framing. When the President of the United States arrives to Pittsburgh, a major incident occurs and despite Ryan’s plea to Carter to warn everyone, the President finds himself kidnapped by the terrorist leader. When Ryan successfully finds the President, he learns that he has been strapped to a nuclear bomb and with two hours on the clock, Ryan will find himself forced to make a decision that could change an impact not only on Pittsburgh, but the United States as a whole.

Originally titled Rising Fear, but changed as somewhat a way to make a connection to the Millennium film series starring Gerard Butler, this low-budget action film from filmmaker Tom Getty actually is quite above average with Getty using his budget quite right. Getty truly proves himself to be a jack-of-all-trades as he directs, produces, write the script, did the cinematography, and editing himself as well as take the role of ex-Marine turned hero Ryan Taylor.

What makes this stand out is the screenplay of the film, which starts out with Ryan being forced into one situation then brings twists and turns that force Ryan into an even bigger situation than expected. This film would be a good companion piece to the recent Mike Norris-directed Armageddon with its central theme of America being threatened or changed with the unlikeliest of heroes forced to defend themselves in the name of the United States. The twists and turns in Getty’s script will make you not want to leave your seat and make you want to see what will happen next.

Curtis Caldwell brings some very good support in the role of “frenemy” FBI Agent Carter, who starts off thinking Ryan is the enemy but soon learns Ryan may not be who he actually seems in terms of a bad guy. Philip Lewis brings something interesting to his role of terrorist leader Razanov, who looks like a rip-off of Tom Hardy’s take on Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. However, when Razanov is revealed under the mask, it is quite hideous as if he looks like the lead zombie in the Norwegian horror film Dead Snow.

The action is pretty good for what it is. There aren’t many fisticuffs, but more of the firepower kind of action. However, the mystery involving the bomb strapping leads to some more twists and turns about the major players involved with the film having a nearly French New Wave ambiguous style finale, but makes its point.

America Has Fallen is a pretty above-average indie action film from Tom Getty, who makes the most of his budget and still has a high-level script full of major twists that will keep you watching rather than make you run away.

WFG RATING: A

Uncork’d Entertainment presents a High Octane Film presentation of an Acrolight Films production. Director: Tom Getty. Producer: Tom Getty. Writer: Tom Getty. Cinematography: Tom Getty. Editing: Tom Getty

Cast: Tom Getty, Curtis Caldwell, Philip Lewis, Eamon McGee, Kirsten Meehan, Chuck Getty, Michael Hoover, Ian O’Brien, Louis Merriman, William Diefenderfer, E.R. Mike Walker.

The film will be released on Video on Demand platforms on July 4.

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