Directed by Ron Howard
Robert Langdon investigates the kidnapping of the Vatican’s most promising prelates.
In 2006, The Da Vinci Code’s blend of blasphemy and “grandiloquent hackery” translated into a global phenomenon, said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. The sequel presents Tom Hanks’ Harvard professor and “eternal gasbag,” Robert Langdon, with a new mystery: Who has kidnapped the Catholic Church’s four most promising papal candidates, and will they be killed by a stolen canister of antimatter? But the real question is why Hanks let director Ron Howard rope him into another “lumbering mediocrity” of an action movie. The supporting cast here has the most fun, said Dana Stevens in Slate.com. Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, and Armin Mueller-Stahl “all stomp gamely around the Holy See,” playing power brokers within the church’s political apparatus. Howard faithfully re-creates the Vatican’s lavish interiors, then uses them as backdrops against which to depict “bodies being branded, tortured, and burned alive.” The mix of violence and nonsense is almost bad enough to be good, said Wesley Morris in The Boston Globe. But “there’s an art to making trash,” and Howard’s too much of a straight arrow to pull it off.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- The European Union was supposed to end nationalism. It gave it new life instead.
Subscribe to the Week