Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hollywood Product: Angels & Demons

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2009 at 8:05 PM

click to enlarge HELP ME, JESUS: Tom Hanks (center) watches his credibility fall in Angels & Demons.
  • HELP ME, JESUS: Tom Hanks (center) watches his credibility fall in Angels & Demons.

GENRE: Scavenger hunt disguised as a Hollywood thriller

THE PITCH: In Rome, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and young physicist Vittoria Vetra (Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer) race the clock during a papal election, a hostage crisis, and the countdown until a stolen speck of antimatter could wipe out Vatican City.

MONEY SHOTS: A tracking shot inside the Large Hadron Collider echoes one of those zippy through-the-engine shots from The Fast and the Furious. To escape a death trap, Langdon tips a huge bookcase against a shatterproof glass wall like Indiana Jones, with amusingly anticlimactic results. A big scene near the finish involves St. Peter's Square, a sci-fi explosion, and an unintentionally humorous parachute mishap.

BEST LINE: "Ah, Professor Langdon. What a relief — the symbologist is here," sneers the Swiss Guard commander (Stellan Skarsgård).

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(Photo © 2009 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.)

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