Info / Movie Review for Angels & Demons (2009)


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Angels & Demons (2009) [PG-13]
W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $13.00

| Released on: 5/15/2009 | Running Time: 140 minutes |
| official web site | | preview trailer | |coverage of premiere |
| soundtrackHans Zimmer & Joshua Bell - Angels & Demons (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | | audiobookAngels and Demons | | buy the book|| spoiler || 2cOrNot2c |



Directed by: Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
Written by: David Koepp (Ghost Town) and Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend)
Based on the Book, Angels and Demonsby Dan Brown
Unsung Member of the Crew: Digital Colorist – Steve Bowen

Featured Cast: (where you might remember him/her from)
Tom Hanks (The Great Buck Howard) • Ewan McGregor (Deception) • Ayelet Zurer (Vantage Point) • David Pasquesi (Leatherheads) • Stellan Skarsgård (Mamma Mia!) • Victor Alfieri (My Sexiest Year) • Pierfrancesco Favino (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) • Armin Mueller-Stahl (The International)


Well, for starters, the anticipation is over, Tom Hanks has returned as Robert Langdon in the adaptation of Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons directed just as was its predecessor, The Da Vinci Code, by venerable former Mayberry resident,Opie Taylor, now known as the very grown up and Academy Award®-winning, Ron Howard. When it comes to form and function, the film version of Angels & Demons is everything The Da Vinci code wasn’t. This film is heart-pounding action from its beginning in a swimming pool in Cambridge, MA, to its topsy-turvy-twisty ending that can be figured out if you pay attention to clues (or read the spoiler – hehehe). Of course, no attempt will be made here to compare the film to the book as it is a well-established movieEVERYday.com principle that we don’t read the books until after their films come out. So, one will just have to ascertain the similarities from this brief plot summary and / or, of course, from the spoiler – read that, absolutely, at your own risk.

... heart-pounding action from its beginning ... to its topsy-turvy-twisty ending...
The story actually begins with the death of the very popular Pope and images of the Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor) destroying the pope’s Ring of the Fisherman as must be done swiftly after the death of each and every pope since the papal traditions were conceived. From the Vatican near Rome we are spirited to the CERN - Large Hadron Collider where a group of scientists is embarking on a technological break through. They have created a method they believe will collect sufficient anti-matter that it can be studied and eventually used as an alternative fuel source. A priest from the Vatican is on site to oversee the work viewed as potentially elucidating of the so-called ‘God-Particle’ and, perhaps, establishing at last proof of the existence of God. The experiment goes well, three battery powered containers are filled with the mysterious, luminous anti-matter, and there would be elation were in not for the fact that moments after the termination of the experiment, the Vatican observer is found dead by his friend and colleague, Dr. Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), his eye has been removed to open the optical scanner secured door to the chamber. From there, we are whisked again to Cambridge, Mass where Michael Phelps wannabe Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is swimming lengths in the Harvard pool. His lap swim is briefly interrupted by a visit from a member of the Vatican City police. Robert is surprised by the visit given his recent issues witih the church (see The Da Vinci Code), but his eyes pop wide open when the officer shows him a special anagram ink symbol he knows Langdon will recognize immediately as the symbol of the Illuminati – and group of scientists and mathematicians that arose in the time of Galileo in response to the Catholic Church teaching things about the world where were known to be scientifically inaccurate, the geo-centric universe for one. He also informs Langdon that four Cardinals, the Preferiti (those most likely to succeed the deceased Pope), have been kidnapped. Langdon therefore agrees to accompany the officer via chartered plane to the Vatican. It is there he will learn that it was Inspector Olivetti (Pierfrancesco Favino) of the Vatican police that arranged for his arrival and meet the head of the Swiss Guard that protects the Pope like an ancient Secret Service born in feudal times, Commander Richter (Stellan Skarsgård) along with Dr. Vittoria Vetra who has come in because she alone can help them with their new problem. The kidnappers have threatened to kill one Cardinal per hour and then end the seat of the faith in a blinding flash of light. They speculate this means the explosion of the anti-matter later confirmed by video from a Vatican wireless camera stolen to prove the presence of the anti-matter chamber. From the video, Dr. Vetra can tell the batter will run out by midnight, the same time the kidnappers intend to blow up the Vatican. It is obvious to Langdon that this is the work of the Illuminati, and he proceeds as such realizing that there was a physical coded path build in Rome that the Illuminati could follow to meet with others and Galileo. Langdon believes one Cardinal will be killed at each church and that if they can find the first church, they might catch their man and save the Cardinals, not to mention stop the bomb. They agree to follow his lead, though Richter is skeptical and the Camerlengo wants to question Langdon’s faith before sending into the Vatican Archives to look for clues. From the, the hours tick by like minutes as they race to solve this incredible mystery and save the city.

... pace and gorgeous setting make for an explosively good time.
Defying expectations, Angels & Demons is a vastly superior film to its predecessor and not just because Tom Hanks abandoned his mullet restoring his regular hair and image at the same time. No, it’s far more than that, it’s the genius behind the twists and turns and ultimately the final message of the film that propel this one ahead by leaps and bounds. The film will keep you on the edge of your seat and constantly guessing how on earth is Langdon going to get out of this mess and on to the next. The special effects are astonishing to the most minute detail. It’s amazing that Ron Howard was able to complete this film and Frost/Nixon in such close proximity as the level of care in both is astonishing. Tom Hanks is far more comfortable in the role this time, it seems, maybe he’s an opposite-Samson. He’s clever and funny in the role while also maintaining the child-like enthusiasm Langdon has toward unlocking each step of a puzzle. His sidekick, Vittoria, is an incredible character portrayed so well with force and adventure by the charming and beautiful, Ayelet Zurer. Stellan Skarsgård and Armin Mueller-Stahl provide the foils to the good characters with their wicked portrayals that add to the films master deception. Likewise, Pierfrancesco Favino adds to the splendor with his determined portrayal of the Inspector who takes charge of the mission in the absence of real leadership from Commander Richer who chooses to ignore the signs. The film’s pace and gorgeous setting make for an explosively good time. Of course the film’s message that science and religion must work together as both are flawed but alone each is unfullfiling and together they have the power to unlock the mysteries of the universe.

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2 comments:

John Thomas "Kooz" Kuczmarski said...

Hanks at it again. I still liked seeing him act...with a volley ball...alone on an island in castaway. I don't watch hollywood films anymore, but Scooter's MED reviews are better than the movies themselves (I am serious about this. Back when I used to watch hollywood films. I read Martin Thompson's review of Beowulf and that new 3-d imaging technology and found the review more revealing, entertaining, and entrancing than the actual 2-hour film!).

Buy DVDs Online said...

The movie and the book are really amazing.. The story seems very intriguing but it was a good movie..