As a bit of a Dan Brown fan I cringed at the first movie attempt, and expected very little from the second but Angels & Demons was a blessed surprise.
Despite being plagued by several damning reviews this flick, based on Dan Brown’s novel by the same name, was to me very entertaining with plenty of suspense, relinquishing clues and explanations at all the right points. However, perhaps much of the appeal of this film could be attributed to the magnificent backdrop of Rome itself and the beautiful architecture and sculptures of Vatican City, the various churches, and plazas? I’m a bit of a fan of the city too. If nothing else the film will do wonders for its tourism.
The film begins with the murder of physicist and priest Leonardo Vetro, who has just become the creator of the first man-made “God-particle” or anti-matter. This volitile substance, which has the power of many atom bombs, is stolen and used in a threat to annihilate Vatican City.
The threat could not come at a worse time as the Pope has died and, just as the conclave begins to determine a successor, the four preferitti (the top favourites for the papacy ) are kidnapped.
With the hostages facing possible death the Vatican turns to symbolist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks ). Helped by physicist Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer ), he scours Rome to unravel the many clues and hidden signs thought to have been laid down by a revengeful secret brotherhood, the Illuminati.
After watching the first miserable attempt, The Da Vinci Code, I was honestly not expecting much from the sequel but I was glad to see that many improvements have been made. Tom Hanks seems to have settled into the role much more easily here, perhaps in part due to better script writing. Whatever it is, I enjoyed watching him, in fact, he completely outshines Ewan McGregor who plays overly devout Camerlengo Patrick McKenna. His Northern Irish accent was not convincing, which was surprising given that he comes from Scotland. However, you do learn to forgive these flaws as the film and his role progresses.
There is murder, mystery, and action coupled with the added bonus of having such a beautiful city to be based in. There’s all the right ingredients here. Definitely worth a look.