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Pyrmont Movie Lovers: Angels & Demons A Review

angels and demons book cover dan brown Pyrmont Movie Lovers: Angels & Demons A ReviewHey there Pyrmont movie lovers, Denieal recently went to see Angels & Demons. Here are her thoughts.

The filmic version of The DaVinci Code is an improvement on the novel, partly because you don’t have to deal with Dan Browns insufferable prose, partly because of the intriguing subject matter of mysteries around Christ, and partly because of the star power of Tom Hanks. However, with Angels & Demons, Hanks and ancient religious secrets are not enough to make this film a success.

Both The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons are the filmic equivalent to junk food. Yet somehow Angels & Demons manages to be the bag of crisps puffed with too much air. The film is set in Rome’s Vatican City after the death of the pope. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is called to help police try to solve the mystery of who has kidnapped the four preferiti cardinals (cardinals preferred for the role of the next pope). The kidnappers, who claim to be part of the ancient secret society The Illuminati, have also robbed a lab that contains an explosive ‘Anti-Matter’ material. Robert Langdon along with the Swiss Guard and physicist Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer) – who has the battery needed to keep the ‘Anti-Matter’ from losing it’s containment field and decimating Vatican City – are racing against the clock. They have to decipher ancient clues about The Illuminati to stop the murders of the cardinals and the cataclysmic destruction of the city.

Although Langdon is a Harvard Professor, it is a little frustrating how easily the symbolism, and ancient texts unfold their answers for him. He is under the pressure of a couple hours to save the cardinals and then the city, yet still one would think that the mysteries of centuries would at least prove more challenging than the New York Times Crossword. His expertise has him racing across Rome with Vittoria Vetra solving mysteries, handling ancient texts like their yesterday’s newspaper and consistently being wiser then the unrealistically dim Swiss Guard.

Admittedly it would take a genius level physicist to be a part of the invention of ‘Anti-Matter’, yet that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to being a detective of ancient artefacts as Vetra finds herself being. I constantly found myself asking “why is she there?” and “how is everyone so brave all of a sudden?” Vetra was needed to replace the battery of the ‘Anti-Matter’ but it didn’t seem to make sense that she was storming ahead bravely beside Langdon with the Swiss guard trailing behind. I doubt both would see as much action at their labs or universities, so them charging ahead as if dealing with mass murders was an everyday occurrence seems a bit strange.

Another thing that is a little confusing is that Angels & Demons as a book comes before The DaVinci Code, yet in filmic form it is the sequel.

One would hope or expect that a sequel to The DaVinci Code would follow a “more things you didn’t know about Jesus” storyline. But because the story was written before The DaVinci Code the fact that it takes on another subject entirely and is dealing with the Vatican is a bit disappointing. I wanted a continuation of the stories from the first film or at least more than one continued character. What was delivered with Angels & Demons was a hodge-podge attempt to make a prequel a sequel. Both Zurer and Hanks as well as Ewan McGregor who played priest Carmelengo Patrick Mckenna did a great job of acting, yet it was not enough to carry the half-baked product that was this film.

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