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Review: Angels & Demons (2009)

May 22, 2009

Angels and Demons is based on the Novel by Dan Brown and sees Robert Langdon (Hanks) thrust head first into one of the world’s oldest wars between religion and science. The film begins with the Harvard professor being summoned to Vatican City with the aim to assist the Vatican police in an investigation into the kidnapping of the “Preferati” four cardinals who are the favourites to be elected as the new Pope.

The movie is based around Langdon using his expert knowledge of symbolism to try to prevent the threatened public death of the four cardinals, and the annihilation of Vatican City using antimatter, the “God Particle”. The movie quickly unfolds into a race against time across Rome, with the plot twisting, turning and then flipping on its head so many times you can’t afford to lose concentration.

In comparison to The Da Vinci Code this film is by far the better of the two. Angels and Demons focuses on telling a story laid out through history in a way which entices the audience to drink in the facts as well as the fiction. Although religion is still an underlining motif throughout the film, it aims to provoke the audience to question what faith actually is, rather than try to undermine people’s faith in the church like “The Da Vinci Code” did.

The movie itself is impressive with the way it is able to keep the audience’s attention completely throughout. The way the culture of Rome was integrated into the film was insightful, but i think the real achievement in this movie was the way the director managed to combine landscape shots of Rome and artistic angles of the Italian artistry to give the feel that the audience was literally being thrown into the movie, allowing emotions to flow and anticipation and excitement to rise.

However, as an adaptation of the original novel, I found the movie disappointing and feel that it did not do Dan Brown justice. The plot was changed in places and certain characters seemed to be down-graded and not focused upon in an attempt to allow the audience to relate to Hank’s likeability as an actor. The scenes where Vatican City is shown from a wide angle were also a letdown, as it was obvious that digital enhancements had been used, badly.

Overall, this movie deserves an 8/10, based upon the strong performances from Hanks and McGregor and the dynamic direction from Howard.

Directed by: Ron Howard
Lead Actors; Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer and Ewen McGregor

Film Review by Kim Dale-Proudman

Angels & Demons (2009)

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