Angels & Demons Dodges Haters at Rome Premiere
With the exception of a 102-year-old bishop who called the film "highly denigrating, defamatory and offensive" to the Catholic Church, Angels & Demons' Vatican nemeses quietly avoided the movie's world premiere Monday in Rome. The event took place one mile from church headquarters in Vatican City, access to which Catholic officials famously denied the production during shooting in 2008. And if the first review is any indication, even the film critics might mellow out slightly from their own less-than-hospitable Da Vinci Code welcome three years ago.
"There has been a lot of discussion in the press about the difficulties in making a big film like Angels & Demonsin Rome, but I have only one thing to say about that," director Ron Howard told the premiere audience. "It's all true." Even tougher has been the press curiosity as to how (or if) A&D might improve on its cryptic, maligned predecessor. So far, so good, according to THR's Deborah Young, who reports that Howard, Tom Hanks and the rest of their team have "worked hard to make Professor Robert Langdon's return a thrilling, faster-paced walk in the park." And, its Vatican naysayers might be pleased to note, it's totally chaste:
Hanks fits more comfortably into the role of Langdon here, taking a moment to deliver some friendly one-liners. If Da Vinci was criticized for the lack of sexual chemistry between its protagonists, Angels simply refuses to suggest any kind of romance between Langdon and [scientist Vittoria] Vetra. Their total lack of a relationship is so [...] successful that it passes unnoticed.This allows [the screenwriters] to concentrate on what the audience really wants to see: burning cardinals, spectacular explosions and incomparable studio reconstructions of Baroque Rome.
Oh. They just had to add the burning cardinals. And just when things were looking up, too.
· Angels & Demons lands in Rome [THR]
· Film Review: Angels & Demons [THR]