Friday, May 29, 2009

[review] Angels & Demons

While watching previews for this, The Author & I concluded the most likely character to be the secret member of the Illuminati secret organization was Ewan McGregor, simply because he looked more innocent than stuffy Stellan Skarsgård or the by The Book Armin Mueller-Stahl. The only person you know for sure it isn't is Tom Hanks and the decorative Swiss physicist chick (her function other than simply being the only female in the cast is beyond me). There are several candidates equally well presented - you can see them yourself.

Brown (the author of the source novel) either loathes the Roman Catholic Church with a passion or else sees it as a simplistic plot device to do a massive corporate-conspiracy story without beating Enron or Blackwater to death. (I'm assuming it's the latter.) Besides, there's a built-in audience of those who think the church is deceitful, since it's been around for 1600 years. Including many of its members.

Is Brown planning to write anything that doesn't paint the church as some obsessive secret organization? First it's some massive cover up about the Last Supper painting & Jesus' relationship with Mary #2 (Magdalene, not the BVM). What? No one else thought of that? Where's the originality? I was left wondering the same thing here. Some mysterious Illuminati is out to get the pope? Why not use the Masons? Or the Knights of Columbus?

We will simply leave out my opinions of the technical details due to being an intelligent scientist and firmly rooted in reality Catholic. Little vials of anti-matter in the basement which need a new battery before blowing St. Peter's sky high? Eveready AA or D-cells?

In the midst of the film, one of the Red Shirt security guards corrects Hanks, stating the Church isn't a corporation. Well, yes, in fact it is; the media relations choices in the film are absolutely identical to political and corporate responses to 'embarrassments'.

The choices for the non-Hanks character casting was well done. Mueller-Stahl & McGregor &
Skarsgård all appear to be extremely well suited for their rolls. Although I don't see why they couldn't have changed the script to make McGregor's character an orphaned Scot and just let him speak naturally. The collection of Swiss members of the Swiss guard are not, in fact, all Swiss. Or, if they are, someone ought have let them speak like the Swiss when speaking German to each other. (Some did, some didn't - if I could understand them, they weren't Swiss.)

The scenes inside the Vatican look nice, considering the majority of the budget must have gone toward creating it. For some obscure reason, they couldn't get permission to film there.

The basic plot line is interesting; it would have been more appealing if it was some Real Terorrist organization, rather than the Illuminati. Okay, so Arabic Muslims are old hat. How about one of the American fundamentalist Christian groups? Or some secret society that's a hold-over from the Schism (i.e., one of the Orthodox groups)?

If you want a midless, total suspend-disbelief movie with overwhelming music (nope, not Williams, but Zimmer) keeping you on the edge of your seat until the last moment ... this is your cup of tea.

The end is a bit too formulaic. The only foreshadowing/hint that isn't over-bearing is who the Villian is. A wonderfully pleasant change from Terminator 4.

Rating:
watch it on video if someone else is paying

1 comment:

ccyager said...

Was it Ewan? (send me an e-mail)