Angels & Demons (2009) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A bit watered down and obvious, but still a book smart chase/adventure movie

30 July 2018

Warning: Spoilers

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.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (6/10)

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