| Angels and Demons (2009) |
Angels and Demons is an excellent action, mystery, sci-fi, thriller. It is much better than The Da Vinci Code. Gone is the male bashing. Gone is the endless sermonizing and dubious historical theories. (Christians are mostly interested in Jesus' message of peace and love, rather than his marital status.) Mostly gone is the church bashing. What is left is a tightly woven, fast paced film that seems to fly by before you can even get the lid off your popcorn.
Some viewers bemoan the lack of women in the film, but since most of the characters are priests or police officers, it is to be expected. Ayelet Zurer plays the female scientist, but many are disappointed that she does not fit into the standard feisty love-interest mold that is common in so many films.
It was lots of fun to watch Tom Hanks piece together yet another who-done-it. As usual, solving the crime depends on detailed knowledge of Papal lore and high speed car chases through narrow European streets.
For all those men out of work now, think of it as a $10 high speed tour of Vatican City. Don't bring the little ones along though, as they will surely have nightmares from the scene of a Cardinal being burned alive.
Thrown in, is a tour of Cerne's large hadron collider laboratory in Switzerland. This fits with the film's theme of religion versus science.
Most people know that the famous astronomer Galileo was not murdered by the Catholic Church, because he recanted. At his trial he said that his telescopes are often blurry and he now understands that the sun does orbit around the earth. He said that he had been mistaken and was ashamed of his arrogance to question something already spelled out in the Bible. Those astronomers, who did not recant, were executed and their names are mostly lost to history.
So, it's a fun, exciting, great movie and with something to think about too. It is sort of like The Da Vinci Code, but with the rust spots ground off, a shiny new paint job added and yes, it runs a little faster now too!
- Reviewed by Paul G.
Rated: PG13 in USA, 12A in UK (edited), 14A in Canada due to violence and disturbing images.
Duration: 2 hours and 18 minutes