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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faith is a gift I have yet to receive.
Angels and Demons is directed by Ron Howard and adapted to screenplay by David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman from the Dan Brown novel of the same name. It stars Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Armin Mueller-Stahl. Music is scored by Hans Zimmer and cinematography by Salvatore Totino.

Symbologist...
Published 17 months ago by Spike Owen

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly plodding sequel
Considering how enjoyable the critically derided Da Vinci Code turned out to be if you didn't take it seriously, it's surprising how weak the slightly better reviewed follow-up turned out. The kind of film that manages to look at once expensive and cheap, it's a lot less effective than the first film - the casting is much poorer, the script considerably weaker (especially...
Published on 14 Aug 2011 by Trevor Willsmer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faith is a gift I have yet to receive., 26 Jan 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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Angels and Demons is directed by Ron Howard and adapted to screenplay by David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman from the Dan Brown novel of the same name. It stars Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Armin Mueller-Stahl. Music is scored by Hans Zimmer and cinematography by Salvatore Totino.

Symbologist Robert Langdon (Hanks) is summoned to Rome and asked by the Vatican to help when four cardinals are kidnapped. Upon examining a tape recording that announces that the cardinals will be killed one at a time hourly, Langdon places the crime at the door of the ancient Illuminati. It's a race against time to not only try and save the lives of the cardinals, but also to avert the detonation of an anti-matter bomb which will destroy Vatican City.

In spite of The Da Vinci Code making gargantuan amounts of cash, there were many who actively hated the movie. Yet this follow up from Howard and his makers still enticed just under $500 million's worth of worldwide paying punters into see it. Ultimately it's a very different movie to Da Vinci, where that film was sombre and talky, and had a great religious hook that caused tremors in Christianity, Angels and Demons is a pacey race against time serial killer thriller. Albeit one that is still religion based and additionally topped up with some sci-fi gubbins.

The ticking time bomb format works well as a cliff hanger and the narrative allows Langdon and his latest lady investigator, CERN scientist Vittoria Vettra (Zurer), scope for no-nonsense detective work. There's a good solid mystery story at the heart, one which doesn't veer to being over complicated, and the production value is of a very high standard. Casting is first class, with McGregor and Skarsgard complimenting the reliable, and thankfully new haircut sporting, Hanks. It's a little draggy in the mid-section, as history comes crashing into the mix and the makers feel the need to be cerebral, and the finale is bizarre if wholly appropriate, but herein lies the problem...

If you can judge it on its own terms, not as a Dan Brown novel recreation and a link to bad memories of Da Vinci Code (not me, I liked it well enough actually)? Then it's a film of simple pleasures. If not then it kind of goes without saying that you probably already dislike the movie! 7.5/10
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable movie, 23 Sep 2009
By 
xm4s "Stu" (Bedfordshire UK) - See all my reviews
Enjoyed this much more than I expected too. More thrilling with twists and turns in the plot than the first movie. Bluray picture was superb on 1080p 50" plasma and HD audio was was equally crisp. The extended version just seemed to have more blood and gore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angels and Demons, 21 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Angels and Demons [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Very good film, something I could watch more then once. Very intense film, keeps you gripped to your seat, and a great follow up from the Da Vinci code.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly plodding sequel, 14 Aug 2011
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Considering how enjoyable the critically derided Da Vinci Code turned out to be if you didn't take it seriously, it's surprising how weak the slightly better reviewed follow-up turned out. The kind of film that manages to look at once expensive and cheap, it's a lot less effective than the first film - the casting is much poorer, the script considerably weaker (especially one big rallying speech) and the absence of flashback montages makes the exposition seem far more perfunctory than its predecessor, not least because Hanks seems so bored with it all for much of the movie. Even the literal ticking clock device that drives the plot fails to produce any tension despite the high stakes, the villain and his motivation fairly obvious through heavy-handed writing and a couple of strikingly unconvincingly acted scenes long before the absurd sequence involving an anti-matter bomb, a helicopter and a parachute...

Despite the location and material giving it the slight veneer of a mainstream Hollywood stab at a giallo (Dario Argento in his prime could have had a field day with this one), everything is more run-of-the-mill here - even the internal Vatican politics play like the kind of TV miniseries that went out of fashion in the 70s, complete with a feelgood finale that sees its medieval conspiracy theory proved a blind and its atheist hero firmly back in God's good books to reassure the faithful that God is in his heaven and all's well with the Church. It's watchable but uninspired, feeling more like a film that was rushed into production to cash-in on its predecessor as quickly as possibly rather than something that took a few years to reach the screen.

While the US region-free two-disc Blu-ray offers a decent selection of featurettes, only three of them have made it to the single-disc UK Blu-ray, though that does at least include both the original 138-minute theatrical version and the 146-minute extended cut.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angels & Demons, 28 April 2011
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Very good story about a crisis at the Vatican. Lots of twists and turns with historical referencing keeping the plot moving. The extra features on the blu-ray give more information about the history of Rome and the Vatican. Also some information about how the film was made.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Implausible and ridiculous, 15 May 2009
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angels and Demons [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
The first thing to say about this film is that, just as with the corresponding books by Dan Brown, it's better than The Da Vinci Code. But that didn't take much doing because the previous film was pretty awful. In the DVC - both book and film - everyone ran into rooms, pointed at something and immediately said what they were looking at so as to explain the complex plot to an audience of (supposedly) limited intelligence; the stunning difference with Angels & Demons is that everyone says what's going on while they're running around on their way into those rooms. The other major development is that Dr Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) has had a haircut, definitely a step in the right direction after the absurd mullet he sported in the first film. Incidentally, although half the planet knows this already, the films have been made in a different order to the books, inasmuch as the book Angels & Demons was written first. This doesn't matter very much, but when you're struggling to find something important to say you do find yourself clutching at straws.

I know it's a long way to go before the esteemed Golden Raspberry Awards (the anti-Oscars) but I would like to nominate this film as a prime contender for Most Stupid Film of the Year. On Rotten Tomatoes, they said "the storyline too often wavers between implausible and ridiculous, and does not translate effectively to the big screen". I kind of expected this, having read the book some years ago, but I'm astonished that the producers and director have been able to re-create that idiocy with such dedication and commitment. In a story-line that was very probably rejected by the producers of the BBC's Doctor Who back in the black & white TV days of the 1960s, regarding it as too silly for the 11-year-old children of that era, a tube of anti-matter has been lost and is thought to be secretly buried somewhere in the Vatican - and somebody must find the tube before it explodes and rips a hole in the time-space continuum (not to mention nuking the Holy City of the Vatican) a task complicated by the appointment of a new Pope while the frantic search is going on. But in case this sounds too confusing for you, fear not because most of the words spoken by the monotonous Dr Langdon are little more than reading from the pages of the book in which he explains what's going on and why. Ostensibly he is talking to his female associate Ayelet played by actress Vittoria Vetra, but the truth is that it is all for the benefit of an audience assumed to lack any capacity for such intellectual calculations. These are two people who are experts on the subjects and issues under examination but they feel the need to constantly say out loud what should be plainly obvious to either one of them.

Actually, to draw comparisons with Dr Who is to do a dis-service to the great time lord, because much of the storyline from this film might still need to be beefed up in order to pass for one of the weaker Thunderbirds episodes, with its target audience of primary-school age children. They say action movies can be enjoyable because you don't have to think; well with this it's much the same (minus the enjoyment) because before you've had a chance to think about anything, Tom Hanks explains it for you. Who's the Pope? He's the head of the Roman Catholic faith. Where are they based? In the Vatican. Where's that? It's in Rome. Which is in Italy.

One commonality with the Da Vinci Code is that the first hour or so is snore-inducingly boring, but at least things change halfway through, because from there through to the end it becomes laugh-out-loud funny. This was not intentional of course, but that's the way it turns out, helped in no small part by Ewan McGregor's impossibly absurd Scottish-Italian-Northern Irish accent that shouldn't have a trace of Scottish or Irish in it at all, not to mention his helicopter-flying skills which wouldn't be the first hobby that comes to mind when you're thinking about a Vatican monsignor, and a Cardinal no less. I remember the 'leaping Langdon' helicopter stunt in the book and recall thinking it to be utterly ridiculous, it is beyond comprehension that the people behind this film would so much as consider reproducing it for the screen. But they did.

Although billed as a serious film, this would better fit the genre of such classics as Monty Python; I suspect that more than a few will laugh out loud at the moment of ultimate revelation, the 'let there be light' moment. And although not billed as an action movie blockbuster, who else but director Ron Howard could manage to turn a visit to the Vatican library into a nail-biting action scene, or the announcement of a new Pope? Much of this film, if not all of it, defies credibility or classification, but I would suggest that potential viewers will be best prepared if they expect a Pythonesque comedy drama. Call it Mission Impossible 4: Race to the Vatican, with Gerry Anderson writing the script (he of Thunderbirds fame by the way). This film, despite its guaranteed box-office success given all the hype surrounding it, is a real contender for Most Stupid Film Ever Made, it threatens to dethrone Exorcist II:The Heretic in that regard, and all I can say if you have read this far is: You have been warned. Wait three years and see it free on Channel 5 would be my advice!

DVD INFO (my copy, anyway)

# Format: Anamorphic, Dubbed, PAL
# Language English
# Subtitles: English, Hindi
# Region: Region 2
# Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
# Number of discs: 1
# No extras, only trailers
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, went to see it twice in the same weekend., 12 Aug 2009
By 
Ms. Claire Finlayson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angels and Demons [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I absolutely loved this film, Tom Hanks is superb and actually has some brilliant one-liners. I would definitely recommend it, it's fast paced, keeps you guessing and the end is utterly surprising (unless of course, you've done your homework and read the book, I'm backward, I watch the film then read the book). It does have it's flaws I must say, but for entertainment value, thriller suspense and overall enjoyment I would rate it 5 stars, and definitely the best film I've seen all year of it's kind.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Da Vinci Code, 8 Jun 2010
By 
Susan Holbeche (Bromsgrove, Worcs, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Angels and Demons [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I thought this was an excellent film, and much better than the Da Vinci Code, although I enjoyed that too and would not wish to detract from it. My only criticism is that it might be difficult to follow the intricacies of the plot if you hadn't read the book first. But that applies to many recent films, just how much action detail can you cram into 2 hrs.Angels and Demons
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars impressive sequel, 9 May 2013
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This review is from: Angels and Demons [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Great sequel to an amazing film, although it's quite long it's gripping all the way through

Would definitely recommend, especially to anyone who enjoyed the da Vinci code.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angels and Demons, 1 May 2013
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This review is from: Angels and Demons [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Great film didnt disappoint me after reading the book, arrived quickly and a good buy too. Good one to watch time and time again.
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Angels and Demons [DVD] [2009]
Angels and Demons [DVD] [2009] by Ron Howard (DVD - 2009)
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