I don’t read Dan Brown like I don’t read Harry Potter, being ignorant about these franchises sometimes helps an ignorant viewer enjoy the movie more.
I will also admit that I was very reluctant to watch Angels and Demons, mainly because I thought the Da Vinci Code was overblown, on rails and cheesey enough for me to never go back. I love a good treasure hunt and cryptic puzzles, but the movie never lived up to the gravity of the book’s hungry following. It’s fair to say that this movie does improve on the first in every way, the effects are well used, the backdrop of Rome is magnificent, Hanks is Mr Reliable and the plot has thickened.
Speaking of the plot, the central cause may be a big ball of sci-fi hokum and the inner politics of the Vatican may be a challenging mouthful for the general viewer, but once you get past that there is fun to be had. The pace is held up well by ruthless assassins, hapless Italian Policia, Hanks miraculously working out conundrums that really should have been discovered by curious school kids and a finale plot twist. However the twist itself is more of gentle left-hand curve that was been adequately signposted for a few miles.
On the whole it is an entertaining couple of hours complete with a cast of familiar faces, and I would watch again, one day, maybe when it’s on TV at Christmas. So microwave some popcorn, don’t let your opinion of the first movie put you off and settle in for some fun.