Why are quality pros like Howard and Hanks involved in this enterprise? Do they need the money? Angels and Demons is sure to make plenty. But their artistic souls will do hard time in purgatory for it.
Angels and Demons is a truly handsome production, seamlessly mixing real locations with beautifully detailed sets. There are a few good performances here, and some thrills. Yet there's a flatness to the plotting.
[T]he film does not conclude with Langdon being elected Pope himself, but, watching the spiraling inanities of the last 20 minutes, one might be forgiven for thinking it would be the next logical step.
The re-creation of St Peter's and the Sistine Chapel on the Hollywood backlot is a production achievement, yet the movie's about as exciting as looking over someone's shoulder while they finish a crossword.
Nail-biting, God-fearing and unfolding at a breakneck pace -- a little like The Da Vinci Code on celestial speed -- ultimately everything wilts under the weight of the complicated story lines of its many saints and sinners.
The result is dizzying enough to make you think you're entertained, although the moment you stop to think about Angels & Demons for even a second, the movie becomes ridiculous and preposterous enough to be laughed off the screen.