Well, there certainly was no mystery with Ron Howard’s latest film, the sequel to the Davinci Code, Angels and Demons. Tom Hanks returns as the professor Robert Langdon and we’re introduced to him gracefully powering the lengths of the Harvard sports swimming pool. Quite rightly Audrey Tatou thought it wise to give this sequel a miss.
The story kicks off with a gruesome murder of a research scientist in Grenoble, who, oh yeah that’s right, happens to be a catholic priest (of course). The Vatican Police are sent to investigate and are send a warning by the Catholic Church’s old enemies, The Illuminate. With scary warning letter in hand, the Vatican Police track down professor Robert Langdon to help them stop find four missing cardinals, the “prefferati” to replace the recently deceased Pope.
Ron Howard has a strange relationship with the audience in Angels and Demons - in one hand he assumes you’ve read the book, or at least seen the DaVinci code. In one hand Howard offers little background about Langdon, and why he seems so motivated to help the Vatican Police and in the other hand he uses the other characters around him as tedious plot devices, asking obvious and boring questions to sum up or move on the plot. Yawn. It’s a good job every other character in Angels and Demons is an idiot, incapable of working out the most obvious of clues, otherwise Hanks would have had nothing to say. What an appalling script. Even the moronic, lowest common denominator of Blockbuster filmgoer would have been screaming the obvious at the screen.
The pace of the narrative is the same; it takes the same amount of time to kill each cardinal and in cinema terms that makes for a dull 40 minutes as you drearily watch Langdon prance about the Vatican City. For a thriller this was poor. You don’t care what happens to the Cardinals, you just want the film to end.
The Church really had no reason to boycott Angels and Demons, or ban Howard and his chums from filming in any Italian churches, as no one should waste two hours of their life sitting through this drivel. Christianity is (unusually) not given a beating, and in fact Howard (through Brown’s book) seems to advocate there is an easy way to reach an understanding between religion and science. How nice and easy. Nuclear science is now proving the existence of God? Not sure everyone would agree.
The worst part is that this film has two brilliant actors in the lead roles, Ewan McGregor and Tom Hanks, so you know that the reason they come across as blank, dull, monosyllabic morons is because the script is so poor. Agh, very frustrating. The best part is how amazing, romantic, impressive, over bearing and awe inspiring Vatican City looks. I think I will be definitely booking a holiday as soon as the credit crunch clears!
Best scene: McGregor as the skydiving hero priest, less ridiculous than the book made it seem, but still absolute comedy.
Score: 1 out of 5 for the cinematography