Angels & Demons Review

angelsanddemons-8-large-121708[This review is spoiler-free]

Right off the bat I’m going to say that Angels & Demons surpassed my expectations. Maybe because they weren’t high expectations, but expectations nonetheless.

I will say that this movie is a huge improvement over The Da Vinci Code, but of course not as good as the book. Whichever way you were to look at this film, it is worthy of being a “summer blockbuster”.

Robert Langdon is a Harvard symbologist who is thrown into the middle of a terrorist threat situation by a long forgotten cult called the Illuminati. They’ve kidnapped 4 cardinals and have threatened to kill them as well as destroy Vatican city using a new piece of technology called anti-matter.

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All of this while Conclave, the traditional ritual where the cardinals elect a new leader of the Catholic world after the death of the Pope, is going on. Langdon, alongside Dr. Vittoria Vetra, a physicist who worked on the anti-matter project, traipse across the Vatican and Rome both in search of the hidden anti-matter and attempting to prevent the murders of the 4 abducted cardinals.

If you’re a devoted fan of the book and was expecting them to stay completely true to the story, then you’re going to be disappointed. Not only were parts of the book I found entertaining omitted from the movie, but some parts were even altered.

For the sake of the people reading this who haven’t read the book, I won’t divulge the parts that were changed and removed.

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Unlike Star Trek, Angels & Demons starts off really slow. I disliked the opening 15 minutes or so, in which only Italian is spoken with no English subtitles. It felt like a really low-budget European film. I read the book and even I couldn’t make out what was going on. But slowly, the film picks up in the middle as we see more of Tom Hanks and finally climaxes in a rather spectacular and exciting fashion.

The camerawork is quite clever in parts and manages to give an ominous and dark feel to the movie. This could be just me or a lot of other people too, but I thought the way the story was brought to life visually was impeccable. Quite a number of things in the movie appeared almost identical to what my mind’s eye made them to look like when I was reading the book. Ron Howard definitely did a magnificent job of imagining the buildings and the inner decor of certain places, and bringing them to life on the big screen.

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I’ve mentioned before that Tom Hanks is past his prime in these kinds of movies but I thought he does a respectable job in this one, better than in The Da Vinci Code. I’m also kind of thankful he got rid of that god awful haircut. The rest of the cast does an OK job. Ewan McGregor did pretty well with the part of the Camerlengo but he was just too Obi Wan Kenobi for me.

Effects are a little dodgy in places but when it matters, it is awesome. This movie has an outrageous and ridiculous plot, which is why so many loved the book. Ron Howard has managed to create a movie that will, for the most part, please this strong fan base. This movie is by no means an excellent film. It is purely a fun, exciting thrill-ride and again, worthy of being one of the year’s biggest movies. Go watch it. You will be entertained.

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Looking to the future, Paramount has already announced the planned production for the third Robert Langdon story, The Lost Symbol. Not much about the story yet but it will be set in Washington D.C. and will revolve around freemasonry. The Dan Brown book gets a North American release September 15 with a first printing of 5 million copies, which is a lot. The movie is slated for a 2012 release. If Angels & Demons does well, which it most probably will, we can count on Ron Howard and Tom Hanks on returning for a third installment.

Popcorn-meter
7/10 Popcorns

1 comment/s:

kenwooi.com said...

nice!
looking forward to it! =D

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