Having read Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons several years ago I was interested to see the movie. The religious world created by Dan Brown in this novel and The DaVinci Code is only slightly less fantastic than Rowling’s wizarding world in the Harry Potter series but I enjoy the way his books move so quickly. I’m also very interested in anything that will give me a little inside view the Vatican. Who wouldn’t want to spend a day browsing the Vatican Archives trying to discover what treasures are contained within or wander around in the passage ways and caverns under Vatican City?
Ron Howard’s movie is an enjoyable enough adaptation of the book. Tom Hanks seems to have gotten his hair under control and Ewan McGregor plays Obe-Wan Kenobi playing a Catholic priest. I’ll try not to give anything away but I am getting tired of the plot-line that involves people on the inside of, say, a country (the United States in 24) or say, the Catholic Church, hatching an elaborate plot to blame some enemy for a series of ghastly attacks with the end goal being that said country or church will suddenly see the need to tighten up security or ideology or whatever needs to be tightened up. Who really thinks like this except for some screenwriter who is desperate to prove that our enemy is not really our enemy? Note to aspiring writers, this plot-line is over-played.
Angels and Demons has prompted my return to blogging not because of the quality of the film but because of the assumption upon which it is based. Central to the plot is the alleged, age-old battle to the death between science and religion. The possibly evil, possibly naïve, definitely old and un-cool Catholic church (whose leaders wear doilies) is under attack from the onslaught of science which is threatening to do away with the need for God as it explains more and more about the universe in which we live. Science, on the other hand, is represented by very beautiful, very cool, very smart people who write books. They certainly don’t believe in the devil and would rather be fighting the real enemy in the universe: energy companies (insert creepy music in your head as you read those last two words.)
In the world of Angels and Demons the difference between the church and science is well summed up by the way the two sides deal with the conflict. The old guys in the doilies lock themselves in the Sistine Chapel and appear desperate to maintain their ancient ways while the beautiful and smart scientist joins the brilliant professor to dash around Rome actually doing something about the threat all the while shedding light on the dark underbelly of religious tradition. Don’t you know December 25th is really just a pagan holiday adopted by early Christians? Come on! You Christians don’t even know your own history (or at least Dan Brown’s version of it!) How could you possibly know anything about science?
I’ve got more to say on this topic but in the interest of keeping this brief I’ll post more later this weekend.