Science V. Religion?
Angels & Demons
Review by Ross Anthony

After the movie version of The Da Vinci Code, I didn't expect much. And A&D delivered slightly more than my expectations. Out of the box, the film is sticky and ends with even more problems. But in the middle there, even an unbeliever (in Dan Brown adaptations) can get caught up in the exciting pace and puzzlery of it all.

Puzzle is the word for it. As a kid, I amused myself by drawing mazes freehand. I began with the start and finish, made a winding path between the two with lots of switches. Then from the start, gave at least two or three possible paths that look great, but never get there. Filled the rest with dead ends. It's amusing to draw, and perhaps even fun for a friend or two to tackle. But at the end of the day, is anyone the wiser? Is anyone enriched? A mere pastime. I suppose the same could be said of Star Trek -- an amusing ride. But, one might think a film brave enough to be shot at the simulated Vatican, entitled Angels & Demons, touting a challenge between religion and science in the name of the "Illuminati" would be a little more, well, illuminating than a simple puzzle. Unfortunately not so for A&D.

There is a sequence in the film that's rather beautiful, almost surreal, I loved it. It moved me. Sadly, any such meaning or momentum achieved falls prey to the rest of the film.

Angels & Demons As a human very curious about physics, I was happy to see the script utilize the huge underground particle accelerator that really exists in Europe. And though its depiction was a bit muddled and confusing here, the general ideas of the science associated with the accelerator in the film is roughly legit. I appreciated the attempt. Further, Hanks' character is somewhat believable, but it becomes a stretch to fathom that the physicist he partners with is also an expert in Catholic history and Pharmaceuticals. And as for her assessment of cold batteries, to my knowledge, she got it quite backward. Batteries in cooler temperature will actually hold their charge longer. And I have no idea why she had to disconnect power when replacing the battery anyway. Why couldn't she just use jumper wires and connect the new battery in parallel? Also, why does a power grid binary search take 4 hours?

Ah, but I digress. And I'm sure to be taking the science side far too seriously -- it's just that I saw that great big underground 30+mile long collider and got excited (what a nerd - I know). Anyway, if you like whodunnits and aren't looking for anything more than to play along in a churchy puzzle -- you'll have a great time. The film does do a fine job of making all players equally suspect.

Stellan Skarsgaard who played the chief Swiss Guard and Ewan as Father C. give the best performances. They're just about the only ones who emote passion (beyond "tension") into the production.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Coach. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgaard, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nicolaj Lie Kaas, Armin Mueller-Stahl Directed by Ron Howard. Screenplay by David Koepp, Akiva Goldsman. Produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, John Calley at Columbia Pictures.

Grade..........................B (/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Thursday, 14-May-2009 14:29:52 PDT