Critics Consensus: Angels & Demons Isn't Quite Heavenly
It's still several notches above The Da Vinci Code, however.
This week at the movies, Robert Langdon is back on the case, investigating shadowy machinations around the Catholic Church in Ron Howard's Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor. What do the critics have to say?
The Da Vinci Code was a worldwide phenomenon; adapted from Dan Brown's bestseller, it raked in box office receipts despite widespread critical derision (and the threat of boycotts from Catholic groups). The good news is that critics find the follow-up, Angels & Demons, to be tighter and more exciting; the bad news is that their reaction is still pretty tepid. This time out, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) isn't challenging Catholic orthodoxy; he's trying to protect church officials from attacks by the mysterious Illuminati, with help from Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer). The pundits say Angels & Demons is briskly paced, avoiding the speechifying of the previous film while offering a picturesque tour of Rome. However, others say it's still bogged down in absurd plotting at the expense of characterization. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we run down Hanks' best-reviewed films.)
Also opening this week in limited release:
- Revue, Sergei Loznitsa's portrait of Soviet life in the 1950s and 1960s, is at 100 percent.
- Summer Hours, a French drama about complex intergenerational relations within a family starring Juliette Binoche, is at 96 percent.
- Big Man Japan, a deadpan mockumentary about a superhero outcast, is at 90 percent.
- Jerichow, a minimalist thriller about a love triangle in an impoverished German town, is at 83 percent.
- Management, starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn in a quirky romantic comedy about a casual encounter that leads to stalking, is at 58 percent.
- The Brothers Bloom, a whirlwind con man flick starring Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel Weisz, is at 53 percent (check out director Rian Johnson's Five Favorite Films).