Angels and Demons (2009)
After the death of the Pope, the conclave has gathered in a locked room to choose his successor among four cardinals named “preferitti”. However the quartet is abducted by the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood that was supposedly extinct. The symbologist, Robert Langdon, and the scientist, Vittoria Vetra, who had her powerful and dangerous prototype of antimatter research stolen, are invited by the Vatican police to help them in their investigation. They are received by the receptive Camerlengo, Patrick McKenna, and by the reluctant Commander Richter. They are informed that the Illuminati have promised to kill each cardinal every hour from 8:00 PM and then explode the Vatican City with the antimatter. Robert and Vittoria have a few hours to unravel the clues and discover where the lethal weapon might be hidden.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, disturbing images and thematic material.
Runtime: 138 min | 146 min (extended edition)
Language: English | Italian | Latin | French | Swiss German | German | Spanish
Company: Columbia Pictures
Faith Review of Film 04/07/10
by Mason Todd
Film Title: Angels and Demons
Director: Ron Howard
Original release form/venue: Theaters
Current Availability and formats: DVD
Story elements: Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is a symbologist who has been requested by the Vatican to help with the investigation and search for four kidnapped Cardinal preferitti (primary hopefuls for the papacy). With the impending destruction of Vatican City and much of Rome, Langdon and Vittoria Vetra (physicist responsible for the invention of anti-matter – the very thing threatening to destroy Vatican City) must follow the clues that might help them track down the ancient brotherhood known as the Illuminati who were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church in centuries past. The clues lead to an ending that shocks the Church and Langdon.
Film Language elements: The majority of the film takes place in Rome, and primarily in Vatican City. The coloring of the film is very dark and serious throughout the entire film until the resolution has occurred in the final scene when the coloring becomes warm and bright and inviting. Lighting is extremely important in this film as it expresses the very serious nature of the events that are unfolding. Music also plays a key role in expressing the suspense that is occurring in the film. This film moves very fast and the camera is always on the move, panning one way or the other or traveling with the characters as they move from one place to another.
Audience/Cultural Context elements: This film is for Ron Howard fans as well as Dan Brown fans, and anyone who enjoys mystery/thriller type movies.
Theology is found: The film is set in Vatican City and is about the Roman Catholic Church and therefore has elements of Catholic theology. Also look at some of the statement that Robert Langdon states about the Church
Theological themes for conversation: The doctrine of providence. Understanding of creation. How does our understanding of Christian doctrine differ from the way it is portrayed in the movie?
Suggested type of conversation: I would use this with adults in a conference setting as a way of initiating conversation about what it is that we believe as Christian.
Recommended Ways to view and engage the film: I enjoyed the movie and think that if you are going to watch the movie you should watch the whole thing. However for the purpose of using it at the afore mentioned onference I believe that you would only need to pick out key scenes to show in order to created a dialogue.
Concluding or summary remarks: Angels and Demons is a wonderful mystery film that has religious and theological features within it. I believe that it has the potential to create wonderful conversations about what it is that we believes as Christians.