Angels & Demons

After finally getting to see this film, I felt it rude not to witter on at great length about it, pointing out any flaws to make myself feel like a big man.

Angels & Demons (2009)

I don’t know what it is, but I seem to be a glutton for cinematic punishment. If a film has some bad buzz about it, I’m immediately more intrigued by it and will try and seek it out. It’s probably because I like tearing into bad films with my claws of unnecessary indignation, but maybe it’s to do with the fact that I like seeing what makes a bad film bad in the first place and make a mental note not to make that mistake when my filmic magnum opus finally comes to fruition- Capt. Dick Thrust and the Exhibitionist, Nymphomaniacal Women of Boobalonia.

“Religion is flawed because man is flawed.”

After some anti-matter created by the Large Hadron Collider is stolen and placed somewhere in Vatican City, it’s up to Prof. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) to decipher a centuries old mystery and stop the Vatican from being turned into a holy dust cloud. The plot is utterly stupid, but I wasn’t expecting anything compelling. It’s there as a way of connecting the clue solving, and that’s fine by me. I still feel that Tom Hanks is miscast as Langdon, but at least he’s cut out a little niche for himself in the role, and his hair is less ridiculous. As for Ewan McGregor’s Oirish priest, he was alright but the bad accent kept distracting me from the tings dat were being said, begorrah!

Angels & Demons seems to have decided to cater exclusively for the residents of Duncetown. Gone are most of the “working out the clues” bits and the talky bits and we are left with Robert Langdon : Human Super-Computer, who can work out obscure clues in nanoseconds flat. Throughout the film there were exchanges like this:

“LANGDON: Wait a minute- that statue seems to be holding a fish!
WATCHMATITS: A fish?!
LANGDON: Yes. Now,”fish” rhymes with “dish” and “dish” is the first part of the word “disciples” if you say it like Sean Connery.
WATCHAMATITS: …
LANGDON: Plus, it’s 7 o’clock. That must mean that we must go to the 7th Disciple’s place of burial. To St. Barry’s Cathedral!”

One of the only things I liked about The Da Vinci Code was all the explaining stuff, as I’m a fan of history in general and conspiracy angles in films, however- we’re not given enough time to dwell on anything interesting as the film is tear-arsing to the next church before the audience can blink.

In terms of things I liked, there were quite a few things. Tom Hanks is always watchable, the sets and locations are truly incredible and I liked the way that the cardinals were killed in a Se7en-type way, by using the four elements. I really liked the scene set in the Vatican Archives where Langdon has to escape the hermetically-sealed room whilst running out of air. It’s tense and very well done.

The ending let the whole thing down for me, I won’t spoil it, but if a certain character had died in an act of heroism rather than changing tact for no apparent reason I would have liked the film a lot more. Plus, it seemed like after the furore that The Da Vinci Code caused, Angels & Demons wants to suck up to the Catholic Church, by painting them in a good light throughout. After the Atheism fest that was the first film, to turn round and give God the ol’ thumbs up seems like an odd direction to take.

“Faith is a gift that I have yet to receive.”

Still, Angels & Demons kept me amused. It’s bollocks, but entertaining bollocks. Just switch off your brain and treat the massive flaws as part of the fun.

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