Angels & Demons (2009)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5

USA, 2009.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Imagine Entertainment, Skylark Productions, Panorama Films.  Screenplay by , , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

The success of the first film adaptation of a Dan Brown novel meant a sequel couldn’t be too far behind, and here it is, quickly produced and thoroughly inferior in quality.  Tom Hanks is brought back as a symbologist (whatever that is) who is asked to step in when five cardinals are kidnapped from the Vatican. Their abductors claim to be members of the ancient sect of Illuminati, a group of dissenting clergy who have disagreed since time immemorial with the church’s inability to find common ground with the discoveries of science.

Hanks has to find out who these people are and where they’re keeping the kidnap victims, a task made pressing by three key factors: the Pope recently passed away and is in need of a replacement, a recent canister of anti-matter was stolen from a top-secret lab (yes, it’s that kind of plot), and the cardinals who were kidnapped start to turn up dead.

While the film of The Da Vinci Code could easily rest in the dumb-but-fun category, as it was a highly entertaining bit of fluff, Angels And Demons barely scrapes by as a brainless good time. The film is just a long series of empty set pieces, barely strung together by a threadbare plot that has no strength to it whatsoever. Hanks spends most of the time standing around looking helpless, rarely plying his character’s trade in any scene and, when he does, never coming up with much that’s interesting. Everyone phones this one in including director Ron Howard, and take two and a half hours to do so.


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