The Fourth Angel (2001)
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There's no secret about the plot. His wife and daughter are slaughtered by terrorists and he discovers that governments are not going to lend a hand. The way he expresses both his grief and his outrage represent his art at its peak. This film is nicely written and paced, and reminded me of Defense of the Realm. The Fourth Angel has an important role for a young male actor, who does very nicely, and features a brief but pleasing appearance by Charlotte Rampling, who has made the transition from femme fatale to middle aged woman with great grace. (She will look better to some now than she did then.)
Action sequences are sporadic and small-scale compared with big-budget American movies like Planet of the Apes and A.I. but at least The Fourth Angel has characters about whom one cares and a story that, if not wholly original, is constantly involving.
London sparkles spectacularly and the overall look of The Fourth Angel makes you wonder why other British-set films feel cheap and TVesque. The score is a little intrusive but the soundlessness of the Seventies seems a distant memory with modern films choosing to instruct the audience exactly how it should react with over-the-top strings and drums. End of rant. See The Fourth Angel.
A weird cast does not serve the movie:Jason Priestley 's pretty face is a very bad choice;Forest Whitaker cannot do anything with a hackneyed part.Charlotte Rampling a brilliant actress who could have matched Irons every step of the way is completely wasted.Consolation prize for James Bond's fans:Lois Maxwell(Miss Moneypenny) appears as the grandma.
This is an extremely intelligent and absorbing film about a difficult subject, handled with skill and grace by everyone involved. Irons is superb, as always, incapable of making a false move; he embues Jack Elgin with a stunning mixture of rage, frailty, horror and resolve. Forest Whitaker, another brilliant actor incapable of a false move, is also used to fine advantage, as the FBI agent assigned to the case and finding himself -=- SPOILER ALERT -=- understanding and sympathizing with Elgin -=- END OF SPOILER -=-, and the appearance of the fiercely intelligent Charlotte Rampling certainly doesn't hurt.
The film is very hard to find - I bought my DVD online through JumboVideo in Canada. There's a very cool Featurette on this DVD, where everyone involved talks about the making of the film in great detail, very satisfying.
I wonder how many script writers tried their hand at this film. The lead-character embarks on a killing-spree. WHY? was the question I asked myself continually during the movie. It went unanswered. His grief is understandable, but the resulting extreme measures are not. This could have been a very good movie, but somehow it failed to be.
To the good stuff: - Fun fact: The "Serbian" terrorists have neither Serbian names nor do they speak Serbian. There never even was a case of reported terrorism from Serbians. The writer and producer just thought that since they never cared to learn anything about Serbians, then their audience wouldn't have either and they would accept the "Serbian terrorism" story. - Fun fact: Limassol in Cyprus doesn't have an airport - Fun fact: Cyprus is not a desert and neither does it have people wearing jelabias (the white sheets that most Muslims wear) - Fun fact: Terrorism in Cyprus is inexistent.
Being from Cyprus, it was actually quite funny to watch how the British thought Cyprus was, considering they are a significant percentage of the tourists visiting the island. Great!
Short version: If you want to watch a b-movie for the laughs, then this is not bad actually. If you want to watch a real movie, don't bother.
Anyway, as one man justice is a movie theme since Westerns era, let us look to the movie. Quite well done, even if some of the details do not really match 100% percent. The best performance is given by Forest Whitaker who is better and better in each film I see him (but watch your weight, buddy!). Jeremy Irons who is a great actor seems to be a little be embarassed to have taken a role written for Arnold or Harrison Ford.
Worth watching, but there are certainly better movies on the video rental shelves. 6/10 on my personal scale.
On a holiday flight to India, the family of magazine editor Jack Elgin (Jeremy Irons) are involved in a hijack and killed. When the hijackers are released on a technicality, Jack goes on a one-man mission to kill the terrorists after the governmental powers that be let them go. He uses his resources at work to track them down and eliminate them on his own, bringing him to the attention of US agent, Agent Jules Bernard (Forest Whitaker).
Forest Whitaker makes the most of an underwritten part and when he and Irons come face to face in the climactic scenes they become a duo of powerful screen presences.
The acting could have been better, the direction is sloppy, the screenplay is probably something out of a badly written dime story novel, and the whole premise remarkable in that it expects us to accept this magazine editor as a guy who could somehow defeat masses of heavily armed murderers on his own. A (generous) 6/10
The story is unrealistic and convoluted. It's very odd to see a behind the desk reporter turn into Jason Bourne. The story just doesn't pass mustard. And I wonder how many times can people simply walk away from a big shootout.
but the coach is which the gunfight happens - well i cleaned the coach up of all the fake blood(its a basket to get off Formica !!) and the blanks - the railway coach number is 70510 and is now based at the Hunsbury Hill railway museum in Northampton and has been converted in an artists studio anyway some insider info for you Kev smith director of the Hunsbury hill railway museum (NIRT)
as for the films content - i have no idea - all i know is someone gets killed etc etc - as always its a British film - some are good some are bad some are real awful, all i know is this - this coach is a celebrity
Before Taken (2008), Before Harry Brown (2009), before The Gunman (2015), and before the trend of what Hollywood snidely dubbed "GeriAction", we had The Fourth Angel. If a bunch of high-class British people made a Death Wish sequel in their own milieu, and instead of Charles Bronson got Jeremy Irons, The Fourth Angel would be the likely result. There's something awesome about Jeremy Irons one minute wearing white pants and a polo sweater or off pheasant hunting, and the next minute he's wearing the time-honored Revenge Jacket, speeding down the street on a motorcycle, smoking a cigarette and blowing away the bad guys with an arsenal of guns and grenades.
Director John Irvin, who has had a long and distinguished career but would be known to us and fans of the site as the director of the classic Arnie vehicle Raw Deal (1986) - no one gives Schwarzenegger a Raw Deal, just in case you forgot - and Dot.Kill (2005), does more than a solid job; he is in control of the proceedings and directs with style, excitement, and fluidity. The Fourth Angel rarely gets boring, and you really care about Jack and his son. You truly want Jack to blow the baddies to kingdom come, but with style, aplomb, and some classic British restraint.
The movie delivers the goods on a lot of levels, and is a satisfying watch. Irons is backed up well by his co-stars: Rampling has a small role but always adds something to whatever she's in, Forest Whitaker we all know has charisma and commitment, and Jason Priestley is too old to be a teenager, but too young to be a CIA agent. He's caught in the middle, age-wise, but we're glad he's here. We guessed the filmmakers thought Luke Perry would be too much of a Himbo to take on the role. So naturally they got Priestley instead.
The Fourth Angel is certainly what you would call a classy revenge film, which shows that our favorite subgenre has many flavors and varieties. Just when you think you've seen 'em all, along comes Jeremy Irons to show terrorists the true meaning of "Class Warfare"! We give a hearty recommendation to this fine film.
Irons plays an ordinary man here who remakes himself into a warrior after the death of his family in a terrorist attack. His methods of tracking down extremist factions and turning their own weapons against them become so impressive it attracts the attention of an FBI agent (Forest Whitaker), who has his own agenda regarding shutting down terrorists.
I will say that the terrorist plot line and death of his family was interesting just not done well. His ensuing vigilante-ism reminded me of 'Taken' although the two movies should not be compared as 'Taken' is actually a good movie. 03.13
A movie that is not in the category of a made for TV movie but it was pretty bland. I think the movie could rate lower and I may change my score one day but not sure.
***** The Fourth Angel (8/15/01) John Irvin ~ Jeremy Irons, Forest Whitaker, Jason Priestley, Charlotte Rampling