Between its preposterous storyline and its blasphemous revisionist history, the highly-anticipated screen adaptation of "The Da Vinci Code" was the most over-hyped disappointment of 2006. Although there was a lot less buzz surrounding this sequel, "Angels & Demons," nonetheless, proves to be equally underwhelming.
Based on the Dan Brown best-seller of the same name, the film was directed by Ron Howard and stars Tom Hanks who reprises his role as Harvard symbologist Dr. Robert Langdon. Howard assembled an international ensemble which included Scotsman Ewan McGregor, Prussian Armin Mueller-Stahl, Israeli Ayelet Zurer, Dane Nikolaj lie Kaas, Italian Pierfrancesco Favino and Swede Stellan Skarsgard.
At the point of departure, we learn that the Pope has just passed away and that the College of Cardinals is convening in Vatican City to pick his successor. However, before the conclave can arrive at a consensus, the four favorites to ascend to the papacy are abducted by a madman who announces plans to execute them one-by-one, beginning at 8 p.m.
With time being of the essence, Dr. Langdon is summoned to Rome by the Vatican which suspects the crime to be the work of the Illuminati, a vengeful, secret society of heretics who have been at odds with the church for hundreds of years. Soon, Professor Langdon lands in Europe, where he teams up with veteran Inspector Olivetti (Favino) and a beautiful, if vapid scientist named Vittoria Vetra (Zurer).
Again and again, the terminally-loquacious Langdon proves to have an uncanny knack for deciphering precisely what every inscrutable mark and message means, as each discovery invariably only confirms another one of his cockamamie conspiracy theories. The only question is whether they'll be able to crack the case in time to save lives.
A farcical, farfetched, patience-testing, 2½-hour insult to the intelligence.
Poor (0 stars)
Rated PG-13 for violence, mature themes and disturbing images.
In English, Italian and Latin with subtitles.
Running time: 146 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
2-Disc DVD Extras: Separate discussions by Dan Brown and the screenwriters, by the filmmakers and by the cast, "The Making of" and several other featurettes.
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