Thursday, March 7, 2013

HOT: Angels & Demons

As I said in my Da Vinci Code review, I did not read this book. I really enjoyed seeing Da Vinci Code when I first saw it - so I was really looking forward to this sequel (prequel?).

But, when I first saw Angels & Demons in the theater I felt it as a bit of a let down. I was looking for more hidden clues like in Da Vinci Code and it just wasn't there. In fact, although I always wanted to re-check it out, it wasn't until this Hanks-O-Thon that I was finally able to.

On a second viewing, I must say I enjoyed it a lot more. Tom Hanks reprises his role as Robert Langdon, a symbologist that had helped solve Da Vinci's code to track down the final resting place of Mary Magdalene, and discover the last scion.

Although Angels & Demons was written before Da Vinci Code because of the popularity of the latter, it was turned into a film first by Ron Howard. And, when making Angels & Demons he decided to make it as a sequel instead of a prequel.

Here Langdon is summoned to the Vatican after the pope has died and a member of the CERN team is killed after creating three vials of antimatter, which one is stolen. The Vatican, while most of the cardinals are voting to to elect a new pope, someone has kidnapped four 'preferiti' - or the top options to become the new pope. It is sensed that this individual is part of a once thought extinct Illuminati.

Of course, clues are left - some many, many years ago - that can help lead Langdon to the four spots where the cardinals are being left to die.

This time, Langdon is helped by a member of CERN, Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), that helped create the missing antimatter that is being used to threaten to blow up the Vatican. Ewan McGregor also stars as the Pope's Camerlengo Patrick McKenna, a boy that was adopted by the pope and raised inside the Vatican.

Head of the Vatrican police is Commander Maximilian Richter (Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd), who doesn't readily accept the help of Langdon and Vetra in tracking down the missing cardinals - especially after Langdon leads them to the wrong spot the first time.

So, this time around the pair aren't being chased by everyone as in Da Vinci Code - here it is a race against time to find the missing cardinals before they are all killed, and find the missing antimatter before it is used to blow up the Vatican.

As I said to start, I liked it when I first saw it - but I wasn't in love with it. What I fell in love with during Da Vinci Code and a lot of films like it is the clues and codes that are used to move onto the next code or clue. Here there just wasn't as many - there are still some good ones - but not as much as I would have liked.

On repeat viewing, though, I believe I enjoyed it much more. I still enjoy the first movie more, and I definitely enjoyed Audrey Tatou more than Zurer as Langdon's sidekick.

However, after watching both of these films a few weeks apart - definitely looking forward to them coming out with more. Lost Symbol has been out for over three years now, and it appears to be in development - can't wait to check that one out.

Grade:

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