MOVIE REVIEW ANGELS & DEMONS
In spite of its box office success, the film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code had its critics. Accused of being too slow and favouring divine deliberation over action, the anticipation for its follow up was less than enthusiastic. Thankfully Director Ron Howard has taken these arguments on board for Angels and Demons, turning Dan Brown's other best selling hit into a slick evangelical escapade. Upon the Pope's death, the Vatican cardinals begin the ancient Conclave ritual to elect a new leader. Unbeknownst to them a menace emerges from the Illuminati, a centuries old organisation resistant to the Church's scientific stance. Discovering the kidnapping of four leading cardinals and a threat of atomic detonation, the Vatican's temporary leader, the Camerlengo (Ewan McGregor), requests the services of noted symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks). Racing against a deadline with the help of scientist Vittoria Ventri (Ayelet Zurer), Langdon's linear thinking is needed to avoid an unholy cataclysm. Having developed an enviable body of work, Angels and Demons sees Ron Howard finally settle into the confines of blockbuster film-making. If The Da Vinci Code found him awkwardly merging adult themes within the thriller genre, the latest shows a man confident in his abilities. Evident in the way he infuses some fun amongst the necessary religious exposition, the overall material lends itself more to the cinematic canvas. By using the well-worn 'ticking clock' device each scene blends together in lightning speed with the action and cinematography creating a livelier adventure. Although occasionally indulging in some of the novel's more improbable excesses, the film effectively uses the historical ingredients to tell a very modern tale. The issues of science versus religion are competently conveyed whilst pushing the story towards its exciting climax. Hanks also seems more at ease with a script better tailored to his talents enabling him to deliver a more believable performance matched by its strong cast. In a film delighting in its details the Vatican scenes come to vivid life with the set designer's imaginations almost rivalling the majesty of the real article. More like the film its predecessor should have been, Angels and Demons is a serviceable thriller wringing the most from its scenic surrounds. Light on genuine characterisation perhaps, it maintains an ongoing energy that shouldn't make its audience feel like they're in celluloid purgatory.Movie Review Rating 7 / 10 Movie Review by Patrick Moore Official Movie Homepage click here. Angels and Demons released in Australia on Thursday 14th May 2009. If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Angels & Demons Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.