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UPC 14: 00043396326309
The Holiest Event Of Our Time. Perfect For Their Return.
"...Angels keeps the action coming... Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
|Harvard symbologist robert langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the vatican.|
"...earns its wings as an intelligent action movie. Roger Tennis, CinemaClips.com
"...a beat-the-clock chase through Rome (nicely evoked in Salvatore Totino's lush cinematography). Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
Dan Brown?s novels are packed with fascinating historical tidbits which he ingeniously twists into plots that are so intricate and complex that there is a constant need to inform the reader with exposition, often leaving little room for character development. There is a bit of this stilted quality to ANGELS AND DEMONS, the second of Brown?s novels to be brought to the big screen by the tandem of Ron Howard and Tom Hanks, but more than enough intense action to keep the eyes of the audience as busy as their minds. The details of the plot are as diabolical as any in Hollywood history: after the pope?s death, a nefarious organization stashes an antimatter bomb somewhere in the Vatican, threatening to annihilate the conclave of cardinals who are meeting to elect the papal successor. To pass the time until the bomb will detonate, the enemy begins to torture and kill a few of the individual cardinals, but there is a pattern to the grotesque executions, involving hidden sculptural symbols and secret architectural clues. Unfortunately for the church, the man most capable of deciphering the code is the American "symbologist" Robert Langdon (Hanks), who happens to be an affirmed atheist. The script is filled with amazing details about the centuries-old conflict between the church and the Illuminati (whose members included Galileo, Michelangelo, and Bernini), which Hanks uncovers as he breathlessly races between various landmarks in Rome, always a step behind the sinister assassin. The secondary cast consists almost entirely of European actors, including Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgaard, and Armin Mueller-Stahl, who betray so little emotion that it is impossible to tell who is a part of the conspiracy until long after the explosive climax.
Cast & Crew
"[A] thrilling, faster-paced walk in the park....The story line is brilliantly simplified into Langdon's search for the four cardinals....Hanks fits more comfortably into the role of Langdon here..."
"ANGELS & DEMONS barrels along with a confidence -- and, more fundamentally, a pulse....There's forward movement here, an energy focused by the necessity of managing two plotlines of equal urgency..."
3 stars out of 4 -- "[W]ith fabulous production values. The interiors of the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, churches, tombs and crypts are rendered dramatically..."
3 stars out of 5 -- "It's your basic ticking time bomb scenario and Howard jumps in with nimbleness....This is extremely well-mounted, runaway train filmmaking..."
3 stars out of 4 -- "Howard keeps this one moving at an accelerated pace and drops tons of interesting historical tidbits along the ride."
Chicago Sun-Times 7 of 10
Since Angels & Demons depends on a split-second schedule and a ticking time bomb that could destroy the Vatican, it's a little distracting when the Camerlengo, a priest entrusted with the pope's duties between papacies, breaks into the locked enclave of the College of Cardinals and lectures them on centuries of church history...These men, many of them elderly, may face death in minutes, which the Camerlengo knows. The Commander of the Swiss Guard thinks he can evacuate the Vatican and the hundreds of thousands of faithful waiting in St. Peter's Square in 15 minutes before an explosion vaporizes "a big chunk of Rome," but frankly we in the audience think a lot of monsignors back home are going to receive promotions real soon...It's based on a novel that came before The DaVinci Code in Dan Brown's oeuvre. Prof. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is at Harvard when he is summoned from a swimming pool by an emissary from the Vatican, and flown to Rome to face a crisis. Earlier, we learned, a rare, sealed vial of anti-matter was stolen from the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, and a note taking credit comes from the Illuminati, a secret society that has long hated the Catholic Church because of the days when it persecuted Galileo and other scientists...The professor has a fascinating exchange with the Camerlengo, who asks him if he believes in God. He believes, he says, that the existence is God is beyond his mind to determine. "And your heart?" asks the priest. "My heart is not worthy." Agnostics and believers can both find something to agree with there; director Ron Howard does an even-handed job of balancing the scales...So good, indeed, that even after Howard accused the church of refusing him access to Vatican locations, and although the dependable William Donohue of the Catholic League has attacked his film, Angels & Demons received a favorable review from the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, which wrote it is a "harmless entertainment which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity."
- Roger Ebert
ReelViews 7 of 10
The term "god awful" should be used sparingly in connection with motion pictures. With Angels & Demons, however, it seems oddly appropriate. Not only does this prequel-turned-sequel to The Da Vinci Code make its predecessor seem like a masterwork of pacing and plotting, but it may represent a nadir for director Ron Howard and is probably the worst instance of acting from star Tom Hanks since back in the days when he was struggling out from under the shadow of Bosom Buddies. Interestingly, this is also the first sequel with which Hanks (as a live-action actor) and Howard (behind the camera) have been involved...One difference between an effective thriller and one that crashes and burns is easily identified: are the contrivances and coincidences noticeable only once the theater is vacated or are they obvious during the proceedings? Sadly, in the case of Angels & Demons, it's the latter. This movie takes preposterousness to new levels; there are times when the proceedings become so ludicrous that one is tempted to laugh aloud at the sheer audacity of the plotting. Antimatter? A body count in the Vatican with deaths by earth, air, fire, and water? A plot so convoluted that not even Machiavelli would have followed it? The biggest mystery of all is how so much talent (David Koepp, Akiva Goldsmith, Ron Howard, Tom Hanks) could band together to create something this dumb, limp, and lifeless...To add insult to injury, not only is Angels & Demons pitched at viewers who are half-asleep, drugged, drunk, or simply uncaring, but it offers an embarrassing homily about the importance of science and religion co-existing. Yes, after spending two hours trouncing Catholicism and trashing legitimate science, Angels & Demons wants to send viewers home with a moral. Let me offer this alternative: if you want a movie with antimatter, this is not the one for which you should buy a ticket.
- James Berardinelli