Angels & Demons Review

Published 6 years ago by

Short version: Angels & Demons is better than The Da Vinci Code and if you’re a fan of the books you’ll probably enjoy it – otherwise… I suppose there are worse ways to kill a couple of hours.

angels and demons reviews Angels & Demons Review
Screen Rant reviews Angels and Demons

I was not a fan of The Da Vinci Code.

Just thought I should get that out there right of the bat. I found that film incredibly boring and dull, and Tom Hanks just didn’t work for me in the role.

Having said that, Angels & Demons is an improvement over the previous film.

While I undersand that Angels & Demons was written prior to The Da Vinci Code, in the film it is treated as a sequel instead of a prequel. The events of the previous film are alluded to here in order to make that very clear.

This time there is some high tech involved in the guise of the CERN Large Hadron Collider. You know, that massive atom smasher they built in Europe that people thought would create a black hole and swallow up the Earth? So something almost as whacky happens there: Physicist Vittoria Vetra (played by Ayelet Zurer) uses the collider to create a significant quantity of… antimatter.

Yes, you read that right – and no you haven’t stumbled upon our Star Trek review.

Anyway, a priest/physicist (I really thought being a priest was kind of a full time job) observing the experiment is killed and a vial of antimatter is stolen. It was taken by the “Illuminati.” Once again that ancient enemy of the Catholic church surfaces in this film to cause problems for the Vatican.

On the heels of the death of the Pope and despite their feelings toward him, the Vatican calls upon symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) to help them track down the location of the antimatter before Vatican City is destroyed. He teams up with Vetra to follow clues that lead them all over Rome with only a few hours before mass destruction.

To say the story is implausible would be an understatement, but if you just go along for the ride and don’t try to think too hard I suppose it’s entertaining enough. The opening scene at CERN was pretty cool but the movie soon bogs down once it gets going. There are some characters I liked – Ewan Macgregor as Camerlengo Patrick McKenna, the Pope’s assistant, and Pierfrancesco Favino as Inspector Olivetti. As to Tom Hanks – he does a good enough job but to me this role still doesn’t seem to fit him.

While the film feels pretty bogged down through the middle, towards the end it starts to pick up and actually gets a bit exciting. However some of the ridiculous plot points take some serious suspension of disbelief (that, or just ignore them) if you are to enjoy this film at all.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5

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  1. This film sounds better than I gave it credit for… ;-)
    Vic, do you think it will beat out Star Trek for No 1.

  2. Angels and Demons the movies royaly screwed over the book. They messed up so many things from the book its ridiculous. If you are a very big fan of the book, i urge you to probably not see it or expect it to not follow as closely as the DaVinci Code had. I wont give out specific details of them messing up so i dont ruin it for those who have yet to see it. If you have not read the book, you will find it more enjoyable than the Davinci Code, I think that the movie Davinci Code was made for those people who had actually read the book. Angels and Demons was not. And the fact that A & D makes references about the DVC is horrible, A&D is technically the prequel, it was written BEFORE DVC. Honestly if i had not read the books, i probably would have enjoyed it more. i just hate when hollywood screws up great books.

  3. @790

    I think I was overly gentle in my review. You definitely need to check your brain at the door for this one and you shouldn’t have to with this sort of film.

    I do think it will beat Trek at the box office this weekend.


  4. 3 out of 5? Cmon vic it was better than star trek! Jk I just wanted to say that to see how angry everyone would get.

  5. I enjoyed this movie and gave it a 7 out of 10. Having never read the book, I wasn’t looking for that sort of accuracy. I went to be entertained and this movie succeeded. Of course there are better movies out there and my wallet can handle all of them but critics look for deficiencies in movie making, fans look for “screw ups” and the average movie-goer looks for entertainment, thus the creation of cinema.

    I have no interests in picking this movie apart for any inconsistencies for it means to do the same for every comic book movie or others based on books. Not doing so actually gives me another chance to be entertained when I decide to pick up something to read.

    Angels & Demons solicted my vote and I have given it.

  6. I don’t know Vic. Star Trek (at least in my area) is the film everyone is talking about. Pretty much everyone I’ve talked to that has seen it either has or is planning to see it again. When I talk about Angels & Demons, I get a lot of “What’s that?” or “If it’s anything like DaVinci Code, forget it.” I am planning to see this one on DVD, if I even see it. So, Star Trek has legs, and Angels and Demons is getting a lot shrugs.

  7. Also, I forgot to mention, 90% of people that I’ve talked to that haven’t seen it, are going to see it because of the good things they are hearing.

  8. I know I’m probably going to see Star Trek again. My friend hasn’t seen it yet, so I’ll probably go watch it with him.

  9. I was a BIG fan of both books. Hearing that they took a lot of liberties with the novel is disheartening. I was already planning on waiting for the DVD, but now I am DEFINITELY going to wait for the DVD and catch Trek again in IMAX. :P

  10. Watching it tonight with my family, we did the same with The Da Vinci Code, my goodness we’re bad Christians.

  11. @MBL

    You only gave it half a star more than I did. :-)


  12. if the rating to be given is how they followed the book, i would rate it 3/10… not sure i exagerated but i dont think so

  13. Watched it, very much liked it, my family chose to simply enjoy the twist at the end for the spectacle rather than putting it into perspective. Just found it rather unlikely that after TDC all anyone does is give Tom Hanks nasty looks every now and again.

  14. I saw the movie this weekend and I gotta tell ya. I thought it sucked and so did the two people I went with. I would call it the movie that wouldn’t end. It was predictable and boring. We all wished we had gone to see Star Trek or The Soloist instead.

  15. I wouldn’t call what I’m about to say is a SPOILER but I will warn you that some things may seem obvious after reading what I’m about to say. So, you have been warned:
    I have to tell ya, I figured who the bad guy was pretty early on. I didn’t figure out the total ending, but the part I did figure out was kind of obvious (knowing hollywood). Even though I agree with the 3 out of 5, I was bored in parts and would say wait for the DVD. It’s hard to believe it beat out Trek but Trek is in it’s 2nd weekend. One thing that was surprising is that I didn’t see anything to belittle the Catholic Church. The Catholics I talked to before seeing the film said they wouldn’t see it because Dan Brown usually comes down hard on their faith; I didn’t see this happen in this movie. This movie should have been released before May; it’s not a summer blockbuster, IMHO.

  16. I would like Ron Howard to give me my $7 back as well as the 2 1/2 hours I wasted watching this movie. I LOVED the book and was so looking forward to this movie. I could not believe what a departure this screenplay was from the original book. How does that even happen? What really put me over the edge was having a character that dies in the book but stays alive in the movie. I expect more from Ron Howard.

  17. Vic
    I’m thinking this is a mis-print but I saw that angels n demons is only $1million behind star trek despite coming out a week after. There is no chance this is true right?

  18. No, it’s not. You must have been looking at yesterday’s box office numbers. So far:

    Star Trek: $159MM
    A&D: $57MM

    Star Trek: $231MM
    A&D: $160MM


  19. @Cat
    According to rottentomatoes, A&D made $46 million last weekend and Trek made $43 million. Trek probably beat it worldwide though.

  20. These are the US grosses I found on boxofficemojo:

    Daily gross Monday Tuesday Wednesday
    1 STAR TREK $4,530,194 $3,360,553 $3,117,839
    2 ANGELS & DEMONS $4,737,211 $3,603,421 $2,947,014
    3 WOLVERINE $1,425,181 $1,067,934 $956,416

    Total gross
    STAR TREK $158,653,970
    WOLVERINE $154,442,700
    ANGELS & DEMONS $57,491,814

  21. 1 question

    “can your pope fly”

  22. The movie was not that bad people. While again it did not capture the magnificence of the book and yes there were several ridiculous scenarios/moments, I feel that teh ovie was a success.
    In both cases I feel that the books were in fact better but people cannot simply judge a movie by those standards. I actually AM a fan of the Da Vici Code theatrical version.
    If you have never read the books than you will like the movies. They are very contreversial, fast-paced, offer twists, and keep you guessing until the end.
    Things that were not good with Angels and Demons were that they did NOT stray away from teh book all that much. Tom hanks’ performances were mediocre at best but I would not blame him for that. Things SHOULD have been altered in the movie from teh book to make the movie more appealing to the audience.
    1- For 1, Prof Rob. Langdon (T Hanks) should have been more emotional and shown us his acting range. There shoudl havce been scenes added whgere he conveyed more emotion; in order for us as people to relate more closely to the character as a person, instead of a cut-dry character from a novel.
    2- Tom Hanks and the female scientist shoudl have had more chemistry. I am not talking about full out animalistic passionate scenes but a kiss or some inadvertent handholding would have spiced up the movie and kept the audience on their feeting waiting to see if things would go astray from the novel.
    3- Ewen Mcgregor was a loveable character in the movie, a character that really nailed in his role. I do agree that they wanted to keep teh storyline similar to the books…but it would have been better if the Carmangelo did not conjure up the entire concept of the illuminati and if he did in fact save the Vatecan. They could have made one of the other priests or someone else responsible and left McGreggor’s character the way people wanted him- on our good graces trying to do what is right for the church. I know I’ll probably get bashed for saying this but think about it…plot it out in your mind, it would be more suitable for the screen adaptation of the novel.
    4- Ron Howard and Dan Brown novels dont mix. Botom line. Howard’s directing feels rushed and quickly pasted together and he doe snot try to grab teh essence of the books. Maybe he did not read them, who knows, but another director could have done a more solid job.

    All in all, I liked the movies and the books….i will agree taht the movies could have been better but you cannot honestly tell me that they were that bad. 3/10? come one
    this one has got to be a 6/10-7/10 easy
    Wolverine was a 3/10

  23. @tasouli

    Dude… 3 out of 5, not 3 out of 10, bud.

    Pay attention. :-P


  24. I watched about 10 minutes of this today as I was waiting for Land of the Lost.

    Hank’s acting was horrible. The scene I’m talking about was where he’s asking certain members of the Vatican for access to their archives.
    Wow that was some of Tom’s worst acting and some of the most predictable writing I’ve seen in a long time.

    Ron Howard what’s happened to you man, not that I was ever really impressed but your films remind me of bad tv shows…

  25. loved this movie

  26. can’t get enough of tom hanks.