1. For someone who has not read the book, I find Angels and Demons quite entertaining, what with its breakneck speed and rich production values. This then forces me to grab the book and read it, for I heard there were a couple of subplots which were overlooked by the director. Nevertheless, this latest Dan Brown-inspired religious action thriller (three genres you don’t usually see together) is nail-biting and entertaining altogether.
2. It’s a harmless entertainment which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity — less bashing of the church.
3. Where Angels and Demons succeeds is in its sequences of violence, disturbing images, awesome backdrop and celestial speed. With much of the story set in Vatican City, we get to see the intricate architecture of the churches, which massively promotes Rome. Meanwhile, the acting and some of the effects come so fast that if you take a pee, you may miss a murder.
4. Anyone can fly a helicopter.
5. Ewan McGregor’s performance here is probably one of the highlights in this film. He brilliantly chews up every scene he is in as Camerlengo Patrick McKenna who is temporarily manning the Papal office while the cardinals are in the conclave.
6. The church was not portrayed as anti-science at all. In fact, Galileo would have been really happy about the establishment of the Vatican Observatory.
7. There were a couple of heavy philosophical exchanges along the way, including the big one, “Do you believe in God?” posed by the Camerlengo to Langdon. The professor quickly replies that the existence of God is beyond his mind to determine. “And your heart?” asks the priest. “My heart is not worthy.” Ron Howard does an even-handed job of balancing the scale.
8. The room which holds the antimatter was totally unguarded, making it easy for the assassin to break in by stealing someone’s eyeball to get past the retinal scanner.
9. Vittoria Vetra’s purposes are: (1) to explain that the battery will indeed run down, (2) to request her father’s secret journals from Geneva, although they were never actually read, and (3) to run along everywhere with Tom Hanks, to bore us with urgent conversations.
10. That’s a lame way of suicide. Come on, you could do better than that.