Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Movie Brief: Angels & Demons

Dave, Joshua and I saw Angels & Demons this past weekend. As usual, I enjoyed the book more than the movie. I probably don't need to add that the book is not great literature, and the movie is not great cinema. Still, both the book and the movie are decent escapist fare.

The acting is well done; a talented cast did a good job with rather ordinary material. The soundtrack is okay, but I probably won't be adding it to my iPod. The best feature of the movie, by far, is the cinematography. Some of the aerial shots of Rome are breath-taking, and the lighting and tone throughout are appropriate to the story.

Ah, yes - the story. The movie follows the book closely, so aficionados of spy thrillers and the like will probably guess who the villain is fairly early. The basic plot is that the villain wants to rig the election of the next pope. His means for doing this are a) stealing a canister of anti-matter, thereby threatening the destruction of part of Rome and/or Vatican City, b) kidnapping four cardinals who are leading contenders, the preferati, for the position, and c) throwing suspicion for these dastardly doings onto a contemporary incarnation of the Illuminati, a freethinking group with 18th century roots. Robert Langdon and Vittoria Vestra's mission - should they accept it - is to find the anti-matter, rescue the preferati, expose the Illuminati and thwart this evil scheme - all of which has to be accomplished in less than one day. (You weren't really expecting a plausible plot, were you?)

The mission is supposedly a joint undertaking by Robert and Vittoria. After viewing the movie, however, one could be forgiven for wondering whether Robert would have done just as well on his own. Vittoria was a major player in the book; in the movie, she was a pretty face (the prettiest one besides Ewan McGregor). I'll bet it took her less than 1/2 hour to memorize all of her lines.

Overall, Angels & Demons is decent entertainment. If you feel like going out to the movies, you could do worse than this one. But, you won't go wrong if you wait for the DVD.

P.S. - I haven't seen the new Star Trek movie yet. Jonathan and Joshua saw it on opening day and highly recommend it. If you can only see one movie, you'll probably want to see Star Trek instead of A&D. Otherwise, enjoy two weekends out.

NB: This is my 400th post.


Barbara said...

way to go on 400 posts! Wow!

john, Matt and Spencer went to see this movie on the weekend. They really enjoyed it and talked about it for a while afterwards. Cameron and I decided that we would probably enjoy Earth better ... I think we were right. We loved it.

Evie said...

A couple of my friend saw Earth and recommended it. Dave and I will have to catch that one too. So many good movies are coming out this summer. I may have to cut back on my book budget. On second thought, maybe we'll cut back on food instead.

Stephen said...

400 posts - that's incredible. It will be interesting in the years to come how all these posts will archived - I mean we have all put some great stories on blogger - create conversations with one another - insightts that are now precious. Your book reviews, your photoblog - all these things will be a great loss if blogger were to go down for the count.

Anyway, about this movie - did you know that all the great scenes of the Vatican are computer generated images created by a small computer company in Vancouver BC? A group of photographers took over 20,000 still shots in and around the Vatican. With these images they were able to replicate the hallowed halls of the Vatican in Vancouver.

Dave said...

Though it will not go down as a great movie, it was an enjoyable movie. I agree that Vittoria was underdeveloped and used more in the plot than just as eye candy. That said, is is a nice candy item for the eyes.

Josh said...

Well, you can cut back on the food budget some in a few days when I leave for the summer! Haha.