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Angels & Demons

Release Date: 
05/15/2009
Rated: 
MPAA: PG-13
Star Rating: 
4 out of 10
Directed by: Ron Howard

The Skinny: The sequel to 2006's hit The DaVinci Code finds famed "symbologist" Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) in the employ of the Vatican, the ancient bad guys from the first movie. This time, however, Hanks' character has to apply his vast knowledge of arcane ciphers and codes to a devious plot involving kidnapped Cardinals and a ticking time bomb. Latin is spoken.

The Good: If you loved The DaVinci Code, then Angels & Demons is more of the same, sans a naked, self-flagellating albino monk. There's pop history, whispered clues, and medieval violence, not to mention evil priests. There's also Hanks, a man impossible to dislike, as our hero, who's like Indiana Jones, only without all the annoying "action." The movie looks amazing, especially since all of the scenes that take place in Vatican City were actually sets and CGI. Ewan McGregor plays a priest, sufficiently. There is a lot of nice architecture.

The Bad: The movie is about as exciting as Mass. It's hard to hate on a director like Ron Howard. He doesn't make bad movie, but then again, he doesn't make great ones. If his movies were a culinary dish, they'd be an excellent, delicious meatloaf and mashed potatoes. But man, when he makes a boring movie, he makes a boring movie. We could feel plaque forming on our teeth, this movie was that tedious. Play all the thundering orchestrations you want under people driving cars. Unless said cars are being chased by villains, then it's just people driving cars. It was like watching a $100 million dollar version of one of those History Channel shlock docs with titles like "Secrets of the Vatican: Revealed." You know what doesn't send shivers up our spine? A bunch of old dudes in lace-bedecked frocks living in a marble tomb in Italy.

OMG Potential Spoiler: There is no such thing as a canister of "anti-matter" that will explode in a blinding flash of destructive light if the battery runs out. Just saying.

Theater, DVD, or TNT in five years? Wait for TNT.