Angels and Demons

This Friday Angels and Demons hits the theatres, another film based on Dan Brown’s bestselling novel of the same title. I saw a screening of the film last week… not much to talk about.

A few years ago Brown created a storm of controversy with The Da Vinci Code (some of you might remember my interview with Josh McDowell on the subject). Angels and Demons won’t bring more than a drizzle.

Angels and Demons features Tom Hanks once again as the Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (the same guy we saw in The Da Vinci Code. In this movie, the Vatican asks for Langdon’s help after four cardinals are kidnapped by a secret brotherhood called the Illuminati, threatening to kill one an hour, sending Langdon on a wild goose… er… cardinal chase around Rome.

The film actually wasn’t as boring as The Da Vinci Code. The action was decent and the performances were top notch (Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard… how could you go wrong?). Unfortunately, the story was juvenile and predictable. It was a wanna-be National Treasure, with a religious twist.

I brought my friend Eric to the screening with me and he probably got tired of me leaning over and telling him what would happen in the next scene. Yeah… the film was that predictable. Its big surprises were not surprises at all.

This film won’t be as offensive to Christians, or more specifically, the Catholic church as its predecessor. Yes, it reeked of conspiracy theory, but the writer seemed to seek out some sort of “political correctness” this time around with a message that “faith” and “science” can coincide. Even though the film began with anti-religious tones, the church seemed to redeem itself near the end. One of the cardinals concluded, “Religion is flawed only because man is flawed.” Nothing wrong with that statement.

The Vatican doesn’t seem to find this film a threat. A Vatican editorial referred to it as commercial and inaccurate, but “harmless.” I chuckled at this statement from that same AP article:

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.

That sounds about right.

Don’t rush to the theatre for this one, but come DVD release, It’s probably worth a rent if nothing else is available.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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