Tom Hanks Project – “Angels & Demons” Review

31 Jan

MPW-41488It’s another decent enough entry for Hanks in this follow-up to The Da Vinci Code. We’d been putting this one off for months after not loving the first film and we were in danger of not watching this one after Caitlin was horrified just reading the parental guidance warnings for Angels & Demons*. But we sucked it up, Caitlin covered her eyes a ton and we ended up not minding this sequel. Still, it didn’t quite leave us counting the days until part three comes in October.

*Seriously. If you don’t care about spoilers, I suggest you go read them and see for yourself why I wanted to run screaming from the room.

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So there’s this anti-matter in this lab and it can be used to make a very powerful explosive in the wrong hands. The illuminati literally takes the eyeball out of somebody’s head to sneak into the lab and steal it. They then kidnap the four Cardinals next in line to be pope and say they’ll kill one every hour unless Tom Hanks can solve some riddles based on art and symbols in Rome. Then that plays out for the next two and a half and you think the bad guy is probably the math professor from Good Will Hunting, but is it? Watch and see. 

ewan-mcgregor-angels-and-demonsCan Hanks save all the Cardinals in time? Will Ewan McGregor become pope after escaping a helicopter with the anti matter bomb on it? So many questions. We were interested enough and left guessing while watching, so why spoil it for you if you care to watch it. I’d say this one is more thrilling than the original in some ways, 

Laugh Out Loud: Caitlin: 9 Zack: 4 I barely remember laughing at all. There are a couple giggles/small laughs, I suppose, but it’s not meant to be funny. For reference, I laughed 8 times at the first one and Caitlin laughed 10 times. Yeah I don’t particularly remember laughing — I imagine it was at Hanks being wry, which tickles me.

Comedy: N/A It’s an action/adventure movie. Not rate-able.

tom_hanks_angels_and_demons_2Romantic Interest: N/A We won’t rate this one, since they weren’t going for a romantic thing, but I will say there was far less compatibility between Hanks and this new woman compared to Audrey Tautou. She was so forgettable and felt tacked on in this one, where Audrey was central to Da Vinci Code. Although I do think the new scientist lady didn’t feel totally tacked on to me, I really can’t argue with a glowing review of Audrey T. — plus she kind of IS the Da Vinci Code, so. I agree with the overall impression that we were not necessarily supposed to think/root for Hanks and Scientist to be together or anything.

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Eye Cover: Caitlin: 17 Zack: 0 After predicting she’d have just one long eye cover, Caitlin was squinting her way through a ton of this movie*. Which is more than we can say for the guy who loses his eye in the opening minutes of this one. There’s the hot iron branding, the explosions, the bludgeoning**. I can’t believe this movie got a PG-13.

*I feel like I want this to be my auto-biography at some point. “Caitlin Teibloom: Squinting Her Way Through Life.”

**The throat-slitting, the shooting, the apparent brains-splatter in the extended version (which we thankfully did NOT watch)…

Hanks: Zack: 7.0 Caitlin: 8.0 He’s fine, but I don’t think Hanks brings anything special to these movies. He’s just going around solving these riddles and doing a fine job and carrying the movie along just fine, but it’s far more of an acting showcase for the villains and side characters. Stellan Skarsgård and Ewan McGregor do a lot more with their roles and determining their motives and part in the story ends up being what kept us interested. Hanks isn’t bad in these films, he just doesn’t add much. I don’t disagree that Hanks isn’t exactly a scene-stealer in the film, but I don’t think he’s necessarily supposed to be. I think he does a subtle job creating a believable character, and I bumped him up to an 8.0 specifically for the scene where he’s stuck in the library with the German guy and the air is getting sucked out of the room because the power goes out. That scene, while stressful, was given humanity and even humor (the power comes back on seconds after Hanks is finally able to break through the glass) because of our Tommy. I think it’s a respectable job in a film where his character really is more of sideliner.

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Movie: Zack 6.8 Caitlin 7.0 I guess I liked it slightly less than the first one. The formula felt so similar with the non-love interest female helping Hanks get through all these puzzles that seem impossible but they get on more or less the first try. And they’re going against this surprise bad guy that isn’t the surprise bad guy you thought it was and you never have any fear Hanks will survive or get the job done just in time. I don’t know. This isn’t the kind of movie we’d watch if Hanks wasn’t in it and it’s at least a little disappointing to me these movies are still just average with Hanks in the lead. Not looking forward to seeing the third one in theaters. I’m giving this one the same score as the last one. It lost points for the lack for Audrey, but gained them in the interesting side-characters. Still definitely formulaic, and yet somehow I still wasn’t totally sure what was going to happen and found myself engaged throughout. As I said with the first film, I wouldn’t watch this again, but I’m not disappointed that I watched it. I’m mostly fearing the new one just because they seem to keep upping the ante on gore.

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