Friday, May 22, 2009

‘Angels & Demons’: Goggle Maps Would Be Easier!

Ron Howard’s (The DaVinci Code, Apollo 13) ‘Angels & Demons’ begins where ‘The DaVinci Code’ left off (although in Dan Brown’s books – Angels & Demons is the first Robert Langdon adventure) – with the Roman Catholic Church once again in peril because of mistakes it has made in the past. This time it is the dark and mysterious ‘Illuminati’, a group of intellects who were long ago banished (and often tortured) by the Church during its early history. Shortly after the death of the Pope, our hero, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is summoned by the Vatican for help. The Illuminati have kidnapped the four ‘preferred’ Cardinals (Papal Candidates) and have threatened to kill one per hour with the final hour culminating in the destruction of the Vatican by a bomb made from stolen ‘anti-matter’ (or God-particles).

Nothing in the story actually makes sense, but Ron Howard does a great job in keeping everything moving along in lighting fast time – so much so that we really don’t care. His mistake in ‘The DaVinci Code’ does not go unlearned in ‘Angels & Demons’. In ‘The DaVinci Code’ Howard went to great lengths to convince us of the authenticity of the film; in ‘Angels & Demons’ – he is simply having fun.

The cast has a lot of fun as well, unlike the first Langdon film, Hanks has plenty of scene stealing dialogue to chew into – delivering each fascinating line with gusto and authority. At one point he shouts; “I need a map of all the churches of Rome!” – which brings a chuckle considering the enormity of the request, yet Hanks brings the line with a straight face.

While the film runs a bit long – the plot has plenty of fun twists and turns to keep you interested. Preposterous as they may be, the action and the constant guessing will keep you from noticing. At some point though – you may find yourself wondering why Langdon just didn’t whip out a laptop and Google Map the next location of the next church – or better still, you would think that most of the amped up Italian police cars would have GPS units in them! Instead, we are left to rely on ancient poetic text and statues pointing to the sky and West! But then again – if all you had to do was Google Map the route, what use would you have for a Harvard Symbols Expert?

A fun, lively film – pure escapism and a great summer flick! Go enjoy this 3 star edition of the next Robert Langdon adventures!

No comments: