Angels & Demons (2009)
Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is recruited by the Vatican to investigate the apparent return of the Illuminati - a secret, underground organization - after four cardinals are kidnapped on the night of the papal conclave.
Simply A Masterpiece
It’s fine. It's literally the definition of a fine movie. You’ve seen it before, you know every beat and outcome before the characters even do. Only question is how much escapism you’re looking for.
While it is a pity that the story wasn't told with more visual finesse, this is trivial compared to our real-world problems. It takes a good movie to put that into perspective.
One of the most extraordinary films you will see this year. Take that as you want.
Robert Langdon is back with another mystery to solve. A vial of anti-matter is stolen from the LHC (Large Haydron Collider) project. The current pope of the Vatican dies in mysterious circumstances. Four cardinals are kidnapped by what appears to be the illuminati - who confirm that each hostage would be killed on the hour leading up to midnight, where, at which time a bomb (the anti-matter) would be set off - destroying the Vatican, and a large area of Italy. It's a race against time for Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) and Vittoria Vetra (played by Ayelet Zurer) to rescue the prisoners and stop the bomb. To do this they must solve century old riddles left to the through religion and literature. If you've seen "The Da Vinci Code" then expect a lot more of the same. It's the usual book-smart adrenaline filled detective journey film that Ron Howard brought to screen, basing the content on Dan Brown's book by the same title - "Angels and Demons". Like the first film, some of the scenery is lovely to behold (possibly not as nice as the first film though), also like the first film - a decent cast is assembled who mainly do a good job. There were some parts which felt a little wooden and didn't allow me to connect emotionally but all in all it was harmless. I think the biggest let down for me in this was actually Ewan McGregor's character - Cameriengo Patrick). I like him as an actor, but this character felt like a let down because it was obvious from the get-go that he had his own motives. There were some clues to his character development on show but his general mannerisms from the off suggested there was more to come. Maybe it was Howard's direction that led him to deliver the way he did because he hasn't been that obvious in other films - say that, this is probably likely as there were a lot of things in the film which seemed to be dumbed down - I'm certain younger audiences could have followed along with no problems. Having read the book I know that there was a lot more to the character and there was also a lot of information, interactions and characters missing. This makes me feel that the film is 'lite' version of the book. This film is actually darker than the first "Da Vinci" film both thematically and aesthetically. My overall verdict is that this story had the potential to be better than the first film but it wasn't delivered because it felt watered down and quite obvious throughout. 6 out of 10. It was still a simple and brainless film to watch, it's not awful - but it's not outstanding either.
And I say that with disbelief fully suspended.This is what happens when you try to convert a reasonable page-turner into something without pages: over two hours' worth of escape room antics, laced with conspiracy theory, characters that are as unlikely as they are uninteresting, and dodgy science, the whole of it cobbled together in Europe and surrounded with plenty of non-English dialogue, to lend it an air of what some audiences presumably think passes for old world culture and sophistication.There's a reason why Dan Brown's stuff is often classified as "airport fiction": you pick it up somewhere before departure, flick through it while waiting and in-flight, finish off around arrivals, and then throw it in the trash. This film is a pleasantly faithful adaptation of that concept.Tom Hanks plays a shouty American academic-turned-sleuth (basically a flabbier Indiana Jones with more belly and less khaki), his cardboard cut-out, vaguely Southern European sidekick trails in his wake, echoing his leaps of intuition (when she isn't staring at some undisclosed point off-screen), mostly woodenly but sometimes in a foreign language, because that's more authentic than a shouty American, and the rest of the reasonably good cast spend most of the time gurning.The only halfway interesting performance is from Nikolaj Lie Kaas, which is why I'm giving this 3 stars, instead of the minimum of 1 star necessary to be able to leave a review.
Not a fan of the Da Vinci series this one is the rare exception. Tom Hanks returns as the Symbolist Robert Langdon to investigate a murder mystery kept secret by the Vatican. This movie delves into the history of Reformation era Europe. The film is a political critic so to speak of Vatican responses or rather reactions to reform and secularism over the centuries. We get to see Langdon working with Dr Victoria Vetra, a CERN scientist traversing the beautiful city ruins of Rome figuring out yet another disturbing mystery that jeopardizes all of Christianity. We learn of a secret conspiracy in the high echelons of the Catholic Church. The Anti-Christ Papacy is before us and Langdon and Vetra must learn from the texts how to interpret what is playing out in front of them. Great scenery and it was brilliant to have access to Vatican archives and seeing what the Vatican looks like from all angles. Langdon goes through a Damascene conversion of sorts as he too is no fool to political intriguing that is going on within the Catholic Church and the need for guidance. Guidance offered by Ewan McGregor's role in the film as the caretaker Pope during a period of unease within the Vatican.
Laughably dumb. One of the most idiotic films based on an equally lame and childish book. People just keep pulling crap out of their behinds in this incredibly stupid film.But maybe the fault lies in the asinine book written by Dan Brown.Bad history. Bad research. Bad premise.Why anyone would pay money to read the trip e written by Brown is beyond me. But I expect much more from Ron Howard and Tom Hanks. Pitiful garbage.Avoid this stink-burger at all costs.