I was feeling somewhat skeptical about this prequel to the hit Ron Howard film, “The DaVinci Code” because the first film was so long and convoluted. I didn’t think it was a terrible film…it was just not a movie I had to see again. So going into this one, I didn’t have high hopes. Needless to say, this film was a pleasant surprise!
A quick summary…the Illuminati have returned to overthrow Catholicism. When the Pope dies, the underground radical group decides to strike while the getting is hot. They kidnap the 4 most popular candidates that might be replacements and threaten to not only kill them, but also to destroy Vatican City with a stolen anti-matter that is hidden somewhere in the recesses of the ancient city. In order to try to capture the killers and to stop the murders and possible destruction of the city, the Vatican turns to Robert Langden (Tom Hankswho loses the odd haircut this time around) and a scientist who helped create the anti-matter. Many chases ensue, lots of action and mayhem and some great photography inside churches and religious locations.
Once again, Ron Howard seemed to have learned his lesson with pacing because this film seems to move a lot better than “Code”. There is a good chemistry between Tom Hanks and the rest of the actors in this film, which include Ewan McGregor and Stellan Skarsgard. And the scientist, played by relatively unknown actress Ayelet Zurer, does a great job with her role as the anti-matter scientist Vittoria.
Its all heading to an interesting climax that is a little drawn out and over-the-top, but at least this film knows exactly what it is from the beginning. It’s a popcorn film for the educated and on that level it succeeds nicely!
Overall Rating: B+