'Angel Has Fallen' star Gerard Butler is an unsung action hero and rightly called the Bruce Willis of this generation
The 'Die Hard' franchise catapulted Willis to fame and in comparison, as stark as it may seem, Butler's career seems to be taking the same route with the 'Fallen' series
Of the 19 films that Gerard Butler has played the lead in, he's an action hero in nine of them. The burly Scot, who stars in the upcoming 'Angel Has Fallen' movie, started off his career with small roles in releases such as the James Bond film 'Tomorrow Never Dies' and the horror film 'Tale of the Mummy', before moving on to play lead roles.
While people fondly remember him for the romance drama 'P.S. I Love You', it was in the epic war drama '300' that he made heads turn as the Spartan king Leonidas. The breathtakingly visual movie saw Leonidas lead 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian "God-King" Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his army of over 300,000 soldiers that sealed Butler's persona as an action hero.
Soon after, he starred alongside Jamie Foxx in the action thriller 'Law Abiding Citizen' and followed it up with 'Coriolanus', 'Machine Gun Preacher' and the 'Fallen' series.
The point we're trying to make here is that Butler as an action hero may not exactly have a five-star rating, but he has carved a niche for himself as a go-to actor for high-octane action roles. In many ways, he is the Bruce Willis of this generation.
The 'Die Hard' franchise catapulted Willis to fame and in comparison, as stark as it may seem, Butler's career seems to be taking the same route with the 'Fallen' series. In fact, the 'Die Hard' series are high on octane action with predictable plots. The same goes for the 'Fallen' series where the POTUS has to be protected, at all costs.
What sets Butler apart though is that he brings in the element of realism. While blockbuster movie franchises like 'Mission: Impossible' and the 'Bond' series feature heroes assigned on special missions, Butler comes across as a man who, compared to the Craigs and the Cruises, gets his hands bloody most of the time on a day-to-day job.
He isn't a man who walks away unscathed from a fight and he isn't bulletproof. The fact that he escapes by the skin of his teeth in 'Olympus Has Fallen' and 'London Has Fallen' is proof that he plays a very realistic SSD who is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice when it comes to protecting the President of the United States of America.
The other factor about Butler is that he fits into the "Employee Hero" character. He's the sort of actor that directors would approach when a movie has a high-octane, action-filled plot but needs a regular Joe to fill in the spot of the hero.
Butler may not exude the same flamboyance and charisma of a 'Bond' hero, but he makes up for it with his rugged charm. In fact, he's pretty much the guy anyone could relate to when it comes to action.
'Angel Has Fallen' will see Butler reprise his role as the iconic Mike Banning, except this time he's got a lot to lose after he is framed for an assassination attempt on the President. Moreover, he's seen as an aging knight in the movie and that adds to the relatable factor we were talking about earlier.
Just don't be surprised if 'Expendables 4' (If it ever gets made) sees Gerard Butler mouthing cliched one-liners along with the yesteryear heroes in the movie.