Angels And Demons ***


I didn’t much like “The Da Vinci Code”.  I found it to be quite uninteresting and I really could not put my finger on why.  “Angels and Demons” is more of the same, but I had a much better time with Dr. Langon then I did with “Code”.  Maybe it was because of the sheer absurdity of the whole enterprise.  I mean, how can you not at least smile at a movie that has a main character being a symbolist, who finds himself in the middle of Indiana Jones style action involving the secret societies, the selection of a new Pope, and a device hidden some where in the city that threatens to vaporize it.  If you drop any sort of expectation that this movie is going to be a serious drama, you my have as good a time as I did.  The characters certainly take the events in the movie seriously, but that is to be expected. 

Ron Howard steps behind the camera again for this sequel.  The original novel was actually a prequel, but they changed around the story so that it could follow up “Da Vinci”.  This time, for whatever reason, the story is more vibrant, and exciting.  His direction seems to have a sense of urgency.  I did really feel like the city was in danger.  Tom Hanks has perfected the straight man caught in action situations over the years, so he fits right in to this role like an old shoe. 

The story this time involves the secret society called the Illuminati.  They have seized a portion of anti-matter, that if touched, could destroy a whole city.  Along with this dangerous yet ridiculous situation, four cardinals have been kidnapped as well.  This is why Dr. Langdon is called in.  He is an expert at clues and symbols as well as the Illuminati themselves.  What transpires I will not describe in detail, but is kind of funny seeing a symbolist getting caught in shootings and underwater rescues. 

This is pure escapist entertainment with a glossy finish.  The cast and crew are all top notch, and they do their best to make this all as real and threatening as possible, but the underlying story is a little absurd and the ending involves an ariel stunt that is flat out hilarious.  But lord help me, I liked it!


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