Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Movie Review: Angels and Demons

Dan Brown published the book Angels and Demons in the year 2000, which featured the character of Robert Langdon, a teacher of symbology at Harvard University. Three years later he published  a sequel, The Da Vinci Code, which became a huge hit. Since fewer people read the first book, the filmmakers decided to make the Angels and Demons film a sequel to their production of The Da Vinci Code, rather than a prequel.[1] Where The Da Vinci Code was about the Holy Grail, this book/film is about the mysterious organization known as the Illuminati.

My verdict: On several instances Tom Hanks' lines are obviously written for the sole purpose of exposition; no amount of acting can cover up that these were just boring lines. Often these coincide with the character getting on his high horse as he drolly deprecates religious formalism. The plot of the film is carefully structured with several interesting developments. Fortunately, they leave out one of the more preposterous developments in the book.[2] However, I'm not really sure why a 'bio-entanglement physicist' would also happen to know the symptoms of tinzaparin poisoning.[3] Though I've enjoyed his acting in other films, Ewan McGregor's portrayal of the Camerlengo in this film didn't jive with me. The soundtrack (by Hans Zimmer) was pretty interesting. I may have to listen to it and review it separately.


[1] This was probably a good idea since Tom Hanks is definitely starting to look old. But at least he doesn't have long hair in this one, which looked absolutely ridiculous in The Da Vinci Code.


[3] 'Bio-entanglement physics' is a scientific discipline invented by the author, Dan Brown, which supposes that quantum entanglement has some sort of analogy to biological systems. This is a rather preposterous but apparently exciting concept for Western practitioners of Eastern religions. In the book Vittoria is a marine biologist and uses tinzaparin (a form of heparin) to prevent blood clots in marine animals that are kept in captivity and which are subsequently less active.

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