Angels and Demons (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: C+
I don't get it. When you take an incredible book, add Hollywood's crowning jewel, mix it with one of the best working directors out there, the end result should be amazing. Why isn't it? Where do these movies based on Dan Brown's Best Selling series go wrong? To be fair, everyone crapped all over "The DaVinci Code" and I didn't think it was as bad as they were making it out to be. And just like history repeating itself, the same thing is happening now with this one. To say that these are bad movies does a horrible injustice to them. They're far from bad movies. But they don't capture the excitement and pulse-pounding pace of the books. The complaints everyone had with "The DaVinci Code" was that it moved too slow and was too talkie. So what does director Ron Howard do about it? He made "Angels and Demons" move too fast and too talkie. The good news is that "Angels and Demons" is better than its predecessor. The effects were better, the sets were amazingly accurate and, in my opinion, the story is better. But in its fast pace, I wonder if the story will be totally lost on someone who didn't read the book. They worked so hard on pushing the action forward that they don't let major moments sit and sink in with the audience in time. Of course the pace is moving fast until Ewan McGregor shows up on the screen. I don't know if he was given a tranquilizer before shooting, but he's phoning it in and talking like he just learned the language. Last time it was Tom Hanks who acted like that, so at least this time around we get a leading man with some blood pumping in his veins. I wonder if I would enjoy these movies so much more if I didn't read the books. I certainly enjoyed the Harry Potter movies that I didn't read more than the ones I did. Maybe the lesson learned here is don't read books. Nah! I think the lesson should be that reading the books (especially in "Angels and Demons" case) is almost ALWAYS so much more thrilling and satisfying! And besides, it's summer...aren't you looking for a good book to read anyway?