Angels & Demons

A case of antimatter created by the Vatican is stolen from CERN in another case of antihistory so baffling it calls for a specialist. Unfortunately Indiana Jones, Lara Croft and Nic Cage were all busy.

Enter Silvio Berlusconi.

This 2009 sequel to The Da Vinci Code sees Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) foil another tin foil plot that the actors and director have little hope of understanding. With scene after scene of Ewan McGregor in horribly CGI’d rooms explaining the story, it’s like watching the Star Wars prequels (if they’d been based on incompetent books instead of being turned into them). As in 2016 follow-up Inferno, the villain sets a trail of clues (mostly just statues pointing towards the next one) for Langdon to follow and ultimately catch him.

The Two Nopes.

The garbled religion vs science debate is admittedly more substantive than the sequel, but the film is more conCERNed with Dan Brown’s Illuminati ramblings and ambigram illustrations. Fortunately Langdon is an expert at reading things upside down having learnt by standing over people reading The Da Vinci Code on the subway, and his companion this time round (Shtisel‘s Ayelet Zurer) knows literally everything else for some reason. The cast is completed by Stellan Skarsgård, Armin Mueller-Stahl (Eastern Promises) and another poor performance from McGregor.

They are given ridiculous dialogue (“Eject particle beams!”) by David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman (Batman & Robin), while Ron Howard’s direction resembles a whistle-stop tour of Roman landmarks and the Sony backlot accompanied by a comically ill-fitting Hans Zimmer score. Angels & Demons is as boring as it is stupid, and its greatest mystery? How they ever made three of these movies. Unlike coronavirus, Hanks may never recover from them.

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