"Religion is flawed because man is flawed."
As a book, 'Angels & Demons' came out before 'Da Vinci Code'. The huge success of the later one resulted in this film sequel. Nothing was rewritten per se, but the events of 'Da Vinci Code' are briefly mentioned. 'Da Vinci Code' had its flaws as a feature film and most of the fans of the book weren't that pleased of the outcome. What's the result of this one then?
Robert Langdon is once again called to save, if not the faith of the Christian church but at least a hell of a lot of people. Illuminati, an ancient organisation and opponent of the Catholic church, that was assumed to be forgotten has come back with a bang. The Pope has died and his successor should be chosen. The Illuminati has taken 4 candidates as "hostages" but that is not all. An antimatter has been stolen that could destroy the Vatican and parts of Rome. Is Langdon up for "da job"? Hell yeah, he is. Like that would be a surprise considering the fact that his über brains had no problems solving the mystery behind the Holy Grail.
The characters are once again thin as paper. On the plus side, Tom Hanks has gotten some spunk in his performance. He's not "sleepwalking" thru the movie but the character seems to have lost his fear of closed spaces... Anywho, the performers are well-known, with Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård and some other guys on the set. Skarsgård seems to steal every scene he is in and McGregor does his usual good thingy.
'Angels & Demons' lasts over two hours and this time, everything is once again almost too simple for Mr Langdon. He sprints from A to B with his beautiful sidekick Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), showing known locations from the Vatican and Rome, without forgetting to save the Pope candidates from suffering of deaths caused by the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. They're on track all the time and so is the viewer. Everything is explained in the same manner as in 'Da Vinci Code'... simply.
I did not get bored a single time, the story develops nicely and its got a nice pace. The visual image of the film is slightly better than in its predecessors and Hans Zimmer's music doesn't fail. The budget was again stupidly large and what's the end result? Ok entertainment with some nice twists on beautiful locations where superintelligent people save the Catholics once again. I'm starting to think that Dan Brown has some issues with this rubberphobic group?
Ron Howard has mentioned that he would like to complete these two films into a Robert Langdon trilogy. Hell, why not? I've enjoyed the books and films and I wouldn't mind to see 'The Lost Symbol' on screen. Good entertainment instantly forgotten. Nuff said.