Angels and Demons found “harmless”May 8th, 2009 | By Editor | Category: News
VATICAN CITY – Last month we wrote about the possibility of the Vatican issuing a boycott for Angels and Demons. However, after seeing the film at the official world premiere Monday in Rome, reviewers at the Vatican’s newspaper have found the religious thriller “harmless”, although they did say that the work was somewhat commercial and inaccurate. Their summary was that it was not a danger to the church.
L’Osservatore Romano ran a review and an editorial on Wednesday, May 6th, critiquing the movie based on the Dan Brown best-selling novel of the same name. The newspaper wrote that the movie was “a gigantic and smart commercial operation” filled with “stereotyped characters.” The paper suggested moviegoers could make a game out of finding the many historical inaccuracies in the plot.
However, L’Osservatore praised Howard’s “dynamic direction” and the “magnificent” reconstruction of locations like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Much of the film was shot on sets that painstakingly recreated church landmarks.
The film offers “more than two hours of harmless entertainment, which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity,” L’Osservatore’s reviewer wrote. It’s “a videogame that first of all sparks curiosity and is also, maybe, a bit of fun.”
“Angels & Demons” features Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon of “The Da Vinci Code” fame, played by Tom Hanks. In the film, the Vatican turns to Langdon after an ancient secret brotherhood called the Illuminati kidnap four cardinals considered front-runners to be the next pope, and threaten to kill one an hour and then explode a bomb at the Vatican. Each of the cardinals is branded with an ambigram just before being killed.
The editorial said the novels presented the church’s positions in a “simplistic and partial” way. It said the success of Brown’s works should push the church to rethink the way it uses the media to present its message.