Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Angels & Demons


Investigating the mysterious circumstances around the death of the Pope, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) uncovers a plot to kill four Cardinals, however the trail ultimately leads to a plot to blow up the Vatican.

A somewhat formulaic sequel to The Da Vinci Code (2006), there are a number of "saw it coming" type moments, e.g. a dead body pointing to the next piece of the jigsaw, or a helpful supporting character - this time Camerlengo McKenna (Ewan McGregor) - turning out to be the real antagonist. The screenplay also suffers due to being underdeveloped, with some scenes dragged out by poorly written and sometimes pointless dialogue, while others are fast paced scenes, in what feel like attempts to get through the narrative as quickly as possible, resulting in very little character development and weak emotional arcs.

Visually some of the scenes are very powerful, particularly the film's presumed climax (as opposed to the ultimate anti-climax), thanks to some literally explosive special effects, as well as being dark and gritty where appropriate by making strong use of shadows and blood, while the score by Hans Zimmer only heightens the  power and grit of these particular scenes. In terms of the cast Hanks is a decent lead, bringing a sense of wisdom and authority to Langdon, while McGregor puts some passion and emotion into his performance as McKenna. However, almost all of their co-stars give dull and even bored performances, putting little passion and work into their performances, presumably due to the poorly developed characters the screenplay provides them with.

In short, a religious yarn, very flawed in places, just like the 2000 source text, and altogether a little too predictable and unoriginal after The Da Vinci Code, which also includes a hugely disappointing anti-climactic ending.

Stars: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, David Pasquesi, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Thure Lindhardt, Elya Baskin, Pasquale Cassalia, Auguste Fredrik, Endre Hules.

Art Directors Guild nomination: Excellence in Production Design Award (Contemporary Films: Allan Cameron, Giles Masters, Keith P. Cunningham, Dawn Swiderski, Luke Freeborn, Alex Cameron, Mark Homes, Jeff Markwith, Patricia Johnson, Patte Strong-Lord, Clint Schultz, Gunnar Ahmer, James Gemmill, Robert Gould).

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