This week at the movies, Robert Langdon is back on the case, investigating shadowy machinations around the Catholic Church in Ron Howard‘s Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor. What do the critics have to say?
The Da Vinci Code was a worldwide phenomenon; adapted from Dan Brown’s bestseller, it raked in box office receipts despite widespread critical derision (and the threat of boycotts from Catholic groups). The good news is that critics find the follow-up, Angels & Demons, to be tighter and more exciting; the bad news is that their reaction is still pretty tepid. This time out, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) isn’t challenging Catholic orthodoxy; he’s trying to protect church officials from attacks by the mysterious Illuminati, with help from Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer). The pundits say Angels & Demons is briskly paced, avoiding the speechifying of the previous film while offering a picturesque tour of Rome. However, others say it’s still bogged down in absurd plotting at the expense of characterization. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down Hanks’ best-reviewed films.)
Also opening this week in limited release: