Angels & Demons (2009)

Film review: Angels & Demons (2009), directed by Ron Howard

angelsanddemonsDid something we’ve never done before… at least not in the five years since I moved over here… we rented a film! OMG!! Actually, we rented four of them on Blu-Ray, but the one we chose to watch first was Angels & Demons from 2009, starring Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård and… a bunch of people I don’t know who they are.

It starts out with a scientist at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, while over in the Vatican, the pope has died. Stuff happens and it would seem that the Illuminati have taken one of the canisters of antimatter from CERN and are threatening to blow up Vatican City, and those pesky Catholic head honchos with it, as revenge for what they did in 1668.

They have kidnapped four cardinals, the ones most likely to be elected new pope, and threaten to kill them off, one an hour… before it all goes BOOM just before midnight, so the clock is ticking for el professore Langdon to use his symbol interpretation skillz in order to try and find the cardinals and the bomb.

Also starring Ayelet Zurer as Vittoria Vetra, Stellan Skarsgård as Commander Richter, Pierfrancesco Favino as Inspector Olivetti, and Armin Mueller-Stahl as Cardinal Strauss.

Oh, and it also has Tom Hanks in swimming trunks. It almost distracted me for a moment, until I realised it was Tom Hanks, and I’ve always failed to get the hots for him, even if he did look surprisingly appealing in The DaVinci Code. Not as much here, but still better than in Forrest Gump, I suppose. There was just something about the hair in tDVC… anyway.

Having to work against the clock is a good thing, because that always gets the action going and you’re wondering if they’re going to make it. I’m not going to say what happens, how the action plays out and stuff, who the bad guys are and such (not exactly unpredictable), but it’s a good ride. Eventful.

Like the Squeeze said, with Dan Brown, he blends actual history with myth and stuff he’s made up himself and blends them together in a way that you’re never quite sure what is fact and what is fiction. Haven’t read any of his books, but I’m sure they’re entertaining.

I think the premise of The DaVinci Code was more interesting and didn’t seem as far-fetched. I mean, why did a canister full of antimatter end up as a would-be Vatican obliterator? Okay, I know why, per se, but why go through all that trouble trying to get it out of CERN when they could’ve just lined the place with C4 if all they wanted to do was to blow stuff up? …Okay, yes, Illuminati prophecy and all that stuff about the Light and things, but it still seems a bit far-fetched to me.

And I haven’t heard any news about Angels & Demons grating on churchey people, which is interesting, considering the plot and what it implies. But to think that Jesus and Mary Magdalene got it on and had a baby… in a fictional story, that’s somehow wrong? WTH? (Some people might find that plot far-fetched, but to me it makes perfect sense. Why shouldn’t they have been lovers? He was a man, after all.)

Robert Langdon is kind of like a modern-day Indiana Jones. There are, of course, vast differences, but all in all, both Indy and Langdon are professors in ancient stuff (one with symbols, one with archaeology) who have wild adventures and are trying hard to avoid getting killed by people with slightly different agendas and moral codes than them. If I had to choose, I’d probably choose Indy. As much a formidable opponent the church is… Indy gets to fight Nazis, and they’re always good for movie baddies… plus a younger Harrison Ford in that hat with a whip… well, you know. Hot stuff! Didn’t really like the 4th installment, but that’s another blog post altogether. Communists aren’t half as much fun.

Then again, I probably enjoy the Langdon stories because I actually bought The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, so it’s obviously something which interests me. (Anything to spite organised religion, I suppose!) Secret societies… well, I have a book on that as well. It basically dismisses the Illuminati as fiction, if I remember it correctly.

Back to the film, finally. Yes, it’s a decent film, it was very entertaining and fun to watch. If you’re into Ewan McGregor and have a thing for Catholic priests… you’ll really enjoy it. 😉 Well worth a watch!

3.5 out of 5 Higgs bosons.

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