Angels & Demons (2009)

Original poster for the film

Are you interested in studying symbology, architecture, Catholicism, or the Vatican?  Then: you’d like this movie, I’d reckon!

Based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown, “Angels & Demons” is a heart-pounding thriller that all happens within the Vatican walls and Rome in less then five hours.  Only a week after the Pope has been dead from a heart attack, the Vatican summon Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, when the Swiss Guard reveal that the four cardinals have been kidnapped, and the killer threatens he will kill each cardinal one by one every hour starting at eight o’clock that night; the killer has also stated he is the Illuminati, a secret society who had been attacked by the church hundreds of years ago, but now seek their revenge during this time of confusion and crisis.  Robert Langdon must now team up with physicist Vittoria Vetra–whose newly created antimatter has been stolen, possibly by the Illuminati–by searching through the history of the oldest church in the world, and find the killer within, waiting for them.  (Running Time: 140 minutes)(Rating: PG-13)

(This film is a sequel to “The Da Vinci Code”, which also stars Tom Hanks)

Tom Hanks reprises his role as Robert Langdon the professor, with Ewan McGregor as a strong-willed priest in the Vatican, Ayelet Zurer as Vittoria Vetra, and Stellan Skarsgard as the commander of the Swiss Guard.  The film is directed by Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, and others), produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, and written by Akiva Goldsman and David Koepp–one of the greatest writer teams in Hollywood!

Now, I have not read Dan Brown’s book, Angels & Demons; I have only read his “Deception Point” (which was pretty good, by the way).  So I don’t know how loyal the movie is to the book.  But judging by the fairly positive reviews from fans, I can safely assume it was pretty close to the book.  But you must understand, if you’ve read the book and disagree with me on the movie’s accuracy, its very hard to condense a 600 page book into a two hour movie.  Very hard indeed!

Angels & Demons strong point is not found in its acting.  Though the acting is fine, what with such talented actors, I should think it could have been…better.  Because the movie moved along at such a quick pace, you don’t connect with the characters as much as you would a longer, steadier-paced story.  But nevertheless, the actors of this film convinced us their adrenaline was pumping, their was a killer nearby, and they only have a few hours before they might be wiped off the face of the earth.

Ron Howard is a good director.  I’d say it suits him more then acting (a lot to do with he was Ronny Howard before he became such a successful director, making multi-million dollar movies and such.  So he was a kid actor, and its hard to think of him as anyone except Opie).  Howard has had his share of action films, and I think its safe to say he enjoyed making this one.  From watching behind the scenes videos, interviews, and such, it is obvious he had read Brown’s book and couldn’t put it down.  He must have a fascination for all this history, symbols, and the Vatican!  All these…secrets.  But then again, we are all interested in secrets, are we not?

Goldsman and Koepp are two terrific writers.  ‘Nuff said.  The film was put together quite well and satisfying to the audiences.  They adapted Brown’s book (as far as I can tell) into an intriguing mystery/thriller.  It has its twists and turns that you never expect coming until its seconds from happening.  You sometimes have to blink twice and say to yourself, “Is that the truth?  For real?”  I’d give both of these writers a clap on the back for this film.  They wrote it very well.  And concerning the story, I really enjoy these mysteries surrounding history which makes you think.  And this story doesn’t stretch out of Christianity, necessarily.  When first watching it, I assumed Dan Brown’s story was going to go more in depth with Jesus’s secret son, or something as crazy as The Da Vinci Code did (blah!, is my opinion to that).  But surprisingly, it didn’t stray into that arena.  It stuck to saying every man is flawed, including those within the church, and how God and His Word are the truth, and science will someday prove to those who don’t believe that He is real.

I’ll give this film a close 4 out of 7 stars.

Intrigued with this movie now?  Have you by chance seen it yet?  Well, I encourage you to go out and see it, then!  I bet you just might like it…

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About Morgan

January 2016 Update: This blog is under reconstruction. Please be patient while we gradually remove old material, posts, and pages, and create new ones. Thank you.
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