Movie Review - Angels and Demons
Overall, I was pretty disappointed in this film. It didn't live up to the expectations set by DaVinci Code at all. I think they were trying to much to make it into a(n average blockbuster) "thriller" and forgot to include many of the elements that made DaVinci Code good - the riddles, the problem solving, the complicated plans, the outrageous daring on the parts of the protagonists...
Issues that I had with the movie:
1. Controversy for controversy's sake.
Yes, I get it, the Church is Eeeeevil for oppressing scientists in Galileo's time, and they're just as ammoral/powerhungry/etc. nowadays. But do you really have to bash them every other sentence? All that dialogue could have been used for something more interesting than soapboxing - like solving riddles and stuff. If I want to hear about Church-bashing I can go to sdnet forums; they probably do it better!
Yes, I get it, you're trying to appease the Christian audience (or just catering to Hollywood cliche) by also saying that science is naiive and the cutting edge of science is one big Frankenstein. Frankly, I was expecting something like this 5 seconds into the show. Thanks for proving that my low expectations of Hollywood to be right.
Of course, I'm sure that your editor never caught the fact that the "message" your movie is trying to send to be, oh I dunno, self-contradictory?
2. Villains got too many gimmes. Protagonists were dumb.
The mastermind bad guy (can't pronounce his title, and never caught his name) had all of 1 anonymously hired gun, and no other onscreen henchmen that were even hinted at. Even with his office being powerful in the Vatican, it's quite a stretch to say that his hired gun was able to:
- Infiltrate a secure science installation, kill the head scientist and use his eyeball to steal the antimatter. For one thing, if any science team's going to be fiddling with antimatter, you can be sure they're going to be doing it under the auspices of some military backing. (Dude, they're making the next nuke; you think there's going to be less security than the Manhattan project?) Not to mention I don't see how Vatican power can help you infiltrate a science installation, but whatever.
- Kidnap 4 well protected cardinals *after* you already warned the security forces that you were going to kidnap them. Uh... yeah.
- Miraculously cause a altercation in the crowd at the same time as you use the sniper rifle to take out the second cardinal.
- Singlehandely (with 1 gun) take out a team of Vatican security/Swiss guard who were trying to rescue the 3rd cardinal, and only sustaining the stereotypical "it's a flesh wound" shot in the shoulder.
- Take out the two beat cops (who walk right up to the van from the front and then try to circle around and ambush (WTF?)) in the middle of a public plaza with people around without anyone noticing.
Not to mention mastermind guy was able to completely predict when the protagonists will show up at his door after rescuing the 4th cardinal (ok, he probably didn't think they actually succeeded the rescue the last time) exactly in time for him to frame the head of the swiss guard and the other priest guy. Um, what?
3. One big cliche.
How sad is it that 10 seconds after we meet mastermind guy, I had him pegged as a villain (if not THE villain), despite the fact that the reveal at the end of the movie was supposed to be a twist? And as soon as I heard that the 4 cardinals were kidnapped and scheduled to be executed 1 per hour, I pegged the fact that the good guys will not make it in time to save all but the last one of them. And that the first attempt will first hit the wrong location, just so that the head of the swiss guard can write off Langdon as a hack and thus most of the armed forces won't be with him for the other rescue attempts in order to force drama? That the hired gun was gonna go kaboom after the 4th execution (attempt) went off?
[sarcasm]Clearly, I am psychic.[/sarcasm]
Stuff I did like:
Er... Classic Roman architecture is pretty? Um, yeah, that's about it.