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Friday, May 15, 2009

Angels and Demons (*1/2)


A droopy-eyed Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon to pull more pseudo-historical nuggets out of his ass while racing around Rome to stop the Illuminati from murdering four priests and detonating antimatter to destroy Rome. I'd heard going in that Angels and Demons was better than The Da Vinci Code. It isn't. Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code are lurid trash, but at least Da Vinci was somewhat entertaining lurid trash, thanks to Sir Ian McKellan chewing the scenery and Audrey Tautou generating some empathy and chemistry with Hanks. Angels and Demons has none of that; just a bunch of priests endlessly pontificating over who should be the next Pope while Langdon and everyone else drone on and on about Religion vs. Science. All of the action revolves around Langdon and the audience trying to unravel a Sinister Plot That Makes No Sense. The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons also share the patented Dan Brown swerve as to the identity of the real villain that's so shocking it's completely retarded. Without the shocking. Director Ron Howard must have been too busy cashing his fat paycheck to pay much heed to Brown's numbingly-inane plot and dead-on-arrival characters. Angels and Demons is an unholy piece of garbage.