Angels & Demons
This sequel to Ron Howard’s Catholic conspiracy thriller The Da Vinci Code is no smarter than the first film, but at least Angels and Demons is silly and fun instead of silly and heavy-handed. It’s basically a puzzle/chase picture, with the religious trappings amped up by brazen cribbing from the Die Hard and Saw series. On the eve of the selection of the new pope, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and a foxy scientist (Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer, hardly the pidgin-English annoyance of Audrey Tautou) race across Rome searching for four kidnapped priests and an explosive canister of anti-matter (just go with it). Muddying the mystery is the fact that every person Langdon encounters—the pope’s ward, the cardinals, the electors, the Swiss Guard, anonymous tourists—looks at him with shifty-eyed guilt. They all did it!