Director: Ron Howard Release date: 14 September Review by Paul Metcalf Angels & Demons is a typical Dan Brown story. Take a basic plot of something that needs solving, give a limited time in which to solve it and apply twist at the end. To this basic plot he applies some convoluted twisting of actual facts to catch the reader’s attention, or the watchers when in reference to the movies. Angels & Demons fits this formula and is fairly rigid in its following of it. Take the death of the Pope and mix in with Science’s “god particle” also known as “anti matter” and you have the basis of the beginnings of a war between religion and science. The Illuminati, an ancient cult of science, has returned to get revenge on the church for past atrocities. They have kidnapped four of the potential new popes and are going to assassinate them on the “altars of science.” So there, we have our main threat in place. Now we need a hero to save the day. As the Illuminati use symbols as clues to their plans of course we need a symbology expert to help translate this, this means Robert Langdon returns to help. This movie is created as a sequel to the Da Vinci Code, yet strangely enough the novel is actually a prequel. This has little impact on the movie but it’s still puzzling just why they changed it to be like that. Langdon is played by Tom Hanks and of course as with everything he does the part is well acted and believable, and of course with the inclusion of Ron Howard as the director this will always be an excellent combination and the result will always be a good movie. Also worthy of note is Ewan McGregor as the Camerlengo Patrick McKenna. For some reason his Irish accent bugged me in this movie and his acting is adequate, but he seems too young to be playing the part and I believe the character of the Camerlengo in the novel was Italian, which is strange as he’s suddenly turned Irish. What’s hard to get past though is that the formulaic story structure. The history that is thrown into the movie is fairly interesting especially around the conclave and the Vatican archives, but there does seem to be a lack of respect in this movie to the Vatican and its history. The movie takes history and trivialises it just to make an entertaining movie. The idea of the Conclave ceremony as the backdrop for the action, and flagrant disregard of historical items (such as ripping pages out of books centuries old) seems quite disrespectful and also superficial in its approach, If the movie is going to be using so much history then it would be better to have a respect for it. The movie revolves around the struggle of Religion vs. Science and to make science appear the bad guy we have the “anti matter bomb”. The “god particle” can and has been created, but the problem is as it stands right now we could never create enough anti matter to create the bomb they mention in this movie - it’s pure science fiction. It’s an obviously flawed movie but Ron Howard is a master of what he does and this movie is made very well indeed. The chase to find the truth and discover who the Illuminati are will keep you engrossed and guessing until the end and the frantic pace will keep you engrossed. A word of caution though, the ending can be quite exhausting as I find its almost as drawn out as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and anybody who has seen that one will know that movie has about 10 false endings till it finally get there. Angels & Demons is a good entertaining thriller as long as you don’t look too closely at the facts it’s trying to throw at you. Rating: 7/10