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Myviewing's Movie Reviews (31)

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Angels & Demons 
Angels and Demons Review
3/4 stars

Angels & Demons is the sequel to the 2006 box office phenomenon The Da Vinci Code. You know, that one movie back in the day that had the Vatican ready to declare a crusade on Hollywood, that same movie that brought atheists together saying that their time had at last come, the same movie that was preparing to change the foundations of Christianity as we knew it... Then the movie came out and everyone who was ready for that defining moment put their clubs and spears behind their backs and said, "Never mind." The wide number of historic inaccuracies and many smaller problems caused the movie to be looked down upon by critics, but Ron Howard sure didn't care, he was walking away with $508 million.

My mom and dad were going out to see it this morning and they invited me along, so I decided, "What the heck? Why not?" So how does this sequel turn out? Well it's actually a whole lot better than it's predecessor, but I don't know if I would consider it to be enough to be atonement for how The Da Vinci Code was.

I had plenty of problems with The Da Vinci Code (I haven't read the book so I can't say anything about its faithfulness to the book or not.) I had problems with the historic accuracy that it didn't even seem to try and follow, I had problems with the pacing, I had problems with the safe route that the movie took when it could have been a lot more. It's one of those movies that had amazing production values, but the movie itself just didn't take off the ground to be the world changer it was hyped up to be. I was a bit indifferent about the upcoming Angels & Demons, but I heard the movie was supposed to be better than The Da Vinci Code, so I can now tell you if Mr. Howard is just whoring in on success or actually performing penance for his last sin.

Angels & Demons takes place sometime after The Da Vinci Code, Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is now called on by the Vatican for his help, as four cardinals have been kidnapped by an ancient brotherhood called the Illuminati. It is up to him to travel to the Vatican and not only save them, but also stop a time bomb that threatens to destroy all the Vatican. He must work with Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer). He enlists the help of Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Obi-Wan... er... Ewan McGregor) to ensure that the Swiss Guard is capable of saving the Cardinals every hour and ultimately retrieving the bomb. The story itself is pretty decent overall and it even has a message at a point near the end for faithful and unfaithful alike, but whether or not it will actually be seen is dependent on what your taste in movies is like.

Angels & Demons features a nice cast of actors just like its predecessor from Tom Hanks to even minor characters. The movie even has production values about on par with The Da Vinci Code, same locals, Hans Zimmer returns for the musical score, though the movie certainly isn't without its faults. Just like in The Da Vinci Code, the movie suffers from what I like to call, "accuracy problems". These problems include the fact that it takes a lot of its facts for granted, Angels & Demons is based on the idea that an Antimatter bomb will destroy an entire city, enough to destroy the Vatican, but in reality... * Whispers * It's pretty friggin harmless... There's also the fact that the Illuminati really isn't as big of an organization as the movie says it was. In fact it never had anything to do with the Catholic Church to begin with. Just like The Da Vinci Code, it tends to take liberties with history, but it does so to a very lesser degree so the offense is hardly that measurable. The way the movie plays out overall is that it's much faster paced than The Da Vinci Code, it observes logic more than its first movie, and can be more enjoyable but it still loses a point for its rather weak ending and defeat for the main villain (omitted for spoilers.)

To sum up Angels & Demons, I'd say it depends on what kind of person you are if you want to see it or not. If you liked The Da Vinci Code, then you'll probably have already seen it yesterday if not already having plans to see it soon. If you were living under a rock back in 2006 and never got around to seeing the movie, then I'd say Angels & Demons is more worth a rent when it hits your local Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. It's actually a pretty good movie altogether, just not a particularly great one. Who knows, maybe when the next movie comes out, Ron Howard will make something particularly good.

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