REVIEW- Angels & Demons (in Filipino and English)

SURVIVOR VATICAN

Rebyu ni Vives Anunciacion

Angels & Demons
Directed by Ron Howard
Based on the novel by Dan Brown

HABEMUS Papam kapag have na nang bagong Pope sa Rome. Yung The Da Vinci Code hindi habemus excitement, pero etong bagong Angels & Demons at least habemus narrative structure. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is back to solve another Church mystery, and this time he gets the Church’s approval.

PLOT SPOILERS BEWARE.

Sa Angels & Demons kailangang bumoto ng bagong Papa ang mga Cardinal ng simbahan sa pagkamatay ng huling Pope. Pero even before the papal conclave can convene, a secret society introducing itself as the Illuminati has kidnapped four of the Cardinals leading in the papal candidacy. With only a few clues left by the group, the Vatican police elects the aid of leading symbologist Dr. Langdon to solve the kidnapping and prevent the murder of the Cardinals.

But the real threat is not only on the lives of the Cardinals dahil sa matagal na panahon, ang ultimate plan ng Illuminati ay pabagsakin ang Simbahan. Sa pamamagitan ng anti-matter na nadiskubre ng mga scientist sa Europe, pasasabugin ng Illuminati ang buong Vatican City pagkatapos nila patayin ang mga Cardinal. Sa ilalim ng apat na oras, susubukan ni Langdon at ng mga police na hanapin ang mga Cardinal at ang anti-matter  by solving the clues na itinago ng Illuminati sa mga structures sa Vatican and finding the so-called Path to Illumination.

Kung sa The Da Vinci Code kinuwestion ang katauhan ni Kristo, walang gano’ng malaking kontrobersiya ang Angels & Demons. In fact, completely anonymous ang mga kalaban, kahit na binanggit na matagal nang kalaban ng simbahan ang grupo. The improvement here is that the narrative of A&D doesn’t stray into too many backstories and side plots as TDVC did, and therefore is more focused in bringing the thrill in Thriller.

But it’s still a lightweight Hardy Boys detective story of looking for clues and solving a small mystery. Nobody’s performance is memorable here except Armin Mueller-Stahl’s as Cardinal Strauss. Tom Hanks at least has a new haircut.

Whatever transgressions the first movie made against the Catholic organization — all the hyped controversies and debates — Angels & Demons compensates with a reverence to church tradition that is practically apologetic of the first movie’s sins.

By the time the movie ends, the Catholic traditions are intact and there is even dialogue that says the Church should adapt to the times, etcetera, that the movie sounds like it is speaking for the Church. That sounds like a 180-degree turn from Da Vinci.

And the winner is: Dan Brown.

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