Angels & Demons

Rated 2.0

Director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks return to their duties from The Da Vinci Code to create a film version of another of Dan Brown’s bestsellers. Hanks again takes the lead role of symbologist and Harvard professor Robert Langdon, whose expertise in ancient secret society lore makes him once again indispensable. This time around, the story features a showdown between the Vatican and the Illuminati (and between religion and science). The best parts of the film—the revelations of ancient lore, signs left by artists and basically the whole mystery of this secret society that calls itself the Illuminati—unfortunately are relegated to background noise. Hanks is in typical Hanks form here, fast-talking but otherwise the same character we’ve seen elsewhere. There’s a lot of great stuff here, so the film itself is ultimately a fun ride, but many of the plot points seem too convenient to be coincidence, and therefore feel forced. Other scenes merely scratch the surface of big issues—faith, for example—but then get forgotten. Feather River Cinemas, Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13