If you have read the book(s) then please raise your hands. Now hands down, to this film. I walked into the theatre thinking, damn I sure hope this was Davinci Code Part Duex, and it wasn't this was a new movie, with one common link, Tom Hanks. YEAH!
Now I will make my attempt at a synopsis: Angels and Demons is about the Vatican, pope dies, then a bunch of zany stuff happens, and Professor Robert Langdon(Hanks) saves the day with his uncanny knowledge of lots of weird church stuff, even though he is an atheist. There. Seriously too many crazy things happen in this movie to even note. However, although it is crazy, it is smart. They took another Dan Brown novel and were able to adapt it very well to the screen, not too much unbelievable stuff to make it ridiculous, but just enough to keep you wondering what is coming next. For someone who has already read the book, I was still caught up in the suspense of this film.
Ron Howard knows how to direct, and he nails it with Tom Hanks in this film. He could have easily had Hanks do a repeat of Davinci Code, but no, they went a lot deeper. Hanks is Robert Langdon, I felt that every crazy connection he made, he actually did in his head on screen, he literally looked as if he was caught up in the film himself. Ewan McGregor also gives a stellar performance as the Carmengello, he tricked me again, even though I knew the plot, that he was on the outside loop with what was happening. As for Vittoria (Ayelet Zurer), she seemed to be overshadowed easily in this film, even at times I forgot all about her.
The cinematography was on par with the last film I thought, nothing too crazy and nothing very new. Salvatore Totino tried to stick to what he knew I think, so maybe next time Sal can you get a little more wild. However for all you filmies out there, please do pay attention to the eyelights on Langdon and the lack of eyelights on everyone else, made me think he might have a twinkle of brilliance in those little eyes.
The soundtrack for this was so-so, nothing too hair-raising or wild, something I would consider standard for what the film was covering. My only real gripe is that it was a little too heavy on the foreshadowing of events and too regular, you knew everything was coming and with a movie with so many twists why ruin their timing with early notes.
Lets get technical finally. First off, HOORAY they shot a good bit of this film on the One Camera from Red. If you don't know what this is, get on it pronto! This technology is breaking us poor indie kids out into the pro world of Hollywood, look out here we come. Also the CGI and Special FX team did a stellar job. I have seen the Sistine Chapel in person and I know you can't film or shoot anything in there, or probably most of Vatican, but they recreated everything to a T.
My friend Dan tonight suggested I start giving things a bananas rating on everything since I do hail from another nickname of Johnny Bananas, and I think I will start with this. This is a film that if you read the book, you should go rent, if you DIDN'T read the book, you should go see on the big screen.
Banan-a-meter: 7.6/10 Bananas