The new Ron Howard film, Angels and Demons, descends on theatres today and according to the long lines at the latest preview of the film, it may well be a hit with many viewers. Starring Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon and the lesser known Ayelet Zurer as the conveniently attractive physicist Vittoria Vetra, the two set out on a gruesome treasure hunt that could impact the existence of the Catholic church.
Langdon (Hanks), an expert symbolist, has long tried to gain access to the Vatican archives to write the second volume of his book; but for years has been denied this access. Until now. Physicist Vetra (Zurer) along with her research partner, who happens to be a priest, discover anti-matter, or the 'God particle', as it is referenced in the movie. Their purpose for this discovery is to find an alternative energy source; but they can't help but to be in awe of the scientific notion that this anti-matter is also the building block for all life as we know it.
Just as the celebration over the discovery is about to take place, a sample of the anti-matter is stolen, we are introduced to the legend of the illuminati and all hell breaks loose. During this process, a debate of science versus religion vs. science plus religion begins in earnest.
As I review the movie in my mind, I must say that the constant tug of war between science and religion is tedious and, at times, hijacks the story. The movie attempts, in several areas, to sermonize polarizing opinions regarding religion and science and their coexistence; which seems to make the movie drag along toward a semi predictable ending. While many may come to see this film for the hype that it has caused, I think some will leave wishing the movie were more like National Treasure (Nicolas Cage) and less like its overweight and unhappy cousin.
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