While action films featuring terrorist attacks are not typically thought of as horror, the idea of terrorists plotting to throw our society into chaos is a terrifying prospect. At times, it is easy to think the world is on the edge of loosing its mind with a constant barrage of negativity and tragedy making the news on a daily basis. Using many influences from films such as Die Hard, Olympus Has Fallen, and The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Getty displays what might happen if American society were given enough of a push in America Has Fallen.
Tricked into detonating a bomb in downtown Pittsburgh, ex-Marine Ryan Taylor (Tom Getty) finds himself on the run as public enemy number one. Fighting to clear his name and bring those responsible for this act of terrorism to justice, Taylor discovers that this is only the beginning of a much larger and more devastating plan. As events strategically unfold, the American public begins to turn on itself, ripped apart by fear. When the plot takes an unexpected turn towards suggestive evidence of a government conspiracy, all hell breaks loose as society begins to collapse and the government tries to maintain order and control.
Getty does an outstanding job pulling triple duty, acting in the lead role, directing and writing this action packed feature. Although Getty may not exactly portray an ex-Marine, he gives a notable performance suggesting that his character could have been written as a washed-up Army veteran. However, Getty’s true talent shows through the story. Crafted with several layers, America Has Fallen, also known as Fear Rising, offers several plot twists as character secrets are revealed.
While Getty’s script gives surprising depth to this explosive feature, it is Philip Lewis’ debut performance as Mikel Razanov that drives the film. As the mastermind behind the terrorist plot to destroy western civilization, Razanov hides his disfigured face behind a mask, making him a solid reminder of Tom Hardy’s Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. Though his physique is not as monstrous as Hardy, Lewis’ malevolent demeanor and mannerisms make him appear as a serious force to be reckoned with.
Though it is not without some flaws – such as a military helicopter trying to blow up a vehicle carrying a nuclear bomb to keep it from detonating – America Has Fallen is a surprisingly layered action feature. With several plot twists, a realistic conspiracy and the threat of terrorism forcing America to implode, this feature offers a horrifying look at something that isn’t all too far fetched. While many ideas were borrowed from other action features, enough originality is incorporated into America Has Fallen to prevent this film from flopping.