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Custom "Angels and Demons" Movie Essay

Movies have always been an endless source of entertainment, valuable lessons, retelling of stories and the dissemination of invaluable lessons to the society. To this end, various movies have been created to augur with the intended purposes. However, in the creation of movies, producers have sometimes found themselves in the midst of controversy regarding the type of movies that they create and the intended message. Some of these movies have been found to go against the society’s teachings or beliefs. In some instances, the movies touch on some very sensitive issues; an example being religion. To this end, they have managed to cause a controversy unrivaled by no other occurrences. Angels and demons is one such movie; that touches on controversial issues (Flixster, Inc). The movie manages to raise questions related to religion; even touching on the basis of beliefs. In this perspective, this paper aims at evaluating the movie angels and demons; directed by Ron Howard.

Since its screening, Angels and demons; the movie, has stimulated dispute and controversy regarding facts relating to the movie. Prominent among its criticism and faults is its approach to Christianity and beliefs. The movie goes on to raise questions regarding all the facts and teachings that have been taught through time. In short, the movie criticizes the root beliefs of religion. The movie, Angels and Demons, is an adaptation from a book that bears the same name. The author of the book is Dan Brown; he has written various controversial books. The movie is taken to be a sequel to another movie The Da Vince Code; an adaptation from another Dan Brown’s movie raising questions on religion. The movie’s director, Ron Howard, is the most successful child stars of all time. The lead role is acted by Tom Hanks (as Robert Langdon). Others include Brian Grazer (producer), Hans Zimmer (Composer), and Akiva Goldsman (Screenwriter). The movie can be categorized as a mystery (holy) and a thriller (Ebert). The movie manages to intertwine the two sub-categories throughout the movies; interchangeably too.  Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is called into Vatican to try and solve a mystery. Robert is an acclaimed symbologist who at some instance had been refused access into the Vatican Archives. The mystery involved danger related to antimatter (nuclear related), illuminati, and the succession of the pope. Robert Langdon is accompanied by another actor, Ayelet Zurer, throughout the solving of the mysteries involved. They encounter some dangers throughout the movie in their quest; laced through with suspense and tension. Ayelet Zurer plays the role of an Italian scientist; Vittoria Vetra. The movie is dotted all through by real historical information (The New York Times).

With respect to the above, a thriller is a genre of film that intertwines, tension, suspense and excitement in delivering its intended information. A thriller keeps viewers glued by managing to stimulate viewer’s moods. This is achieved through the use of a well knit story that raises viewer’s anticipation. A thriller mostly uses a plot that involves a villain causing havoc or harm to innocent people. The hero has, in many instances, to try and outwit the villain and save the world. A thriller aims at keeping the viewers mesmerized and on the edge throughout. The hero in a film is set against an issue, escape, problem, a mystery, or even a mission (The New York Times). At all times, a thriller always emphasizes the danger that a hero faces. Other defining characteristics of thrillers are their use of fights, chase, or even the cover up of information from the viewer. The movie could also be said to fall under the subcategory of a mystery due to its adoption of defining traits of secrecy. A mystery mostly focuses on the efforts of a detective who undertakes to solve mysterious circumstances by following clues and deducing clues cleverly. A mystery, most of the times, relies on the ability of a protagonist in the deduction of clues and situations. Herrings, likely suspects, are presented to the viewers, directly or indirectly, as the movie continues. At times, the likely suspects presented end up being just a diversion before the movie climax. The movie, Angels and Demons, has managed to reflect characteristics that fit both genres of movies (Robey).

Angels and Demons basically revolve around weaponry research, murder, and mystery solving. In the movie, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) manages to conjure up and create antimatter; three vials of it.  This is done under the guidance of Dr. Vittoria Vetra and a priest (Father Silvano Bentivoglio). However, after the creation of the vials, the Father is killed and a vial goes missing. On the other side, the pope dies, and a papal conclave is initiated with a preparation for the election of a new pope. Patrick McKenna is awarded the temporary control of the Vatican while the pope’s election process is in motion. However, the Illuminati kidnap the four mostly likely individuals (cardinals) to be selected as pope. The illuminati further threaten to kill a candidate for every hour; in addition to destroying the Vatican by use of the stolen vial. To this end, the Vatican seeks for the help of a symbologist; Robert Langdon. Robert has to work with Vittoria Vetra (from CERN). The mission given to the two is to find and save the four preferiti (preferred candidates), solve the mystery, and locate the bomb. Robert, after listening to an illuminati’s message, deduces that the illuminati plans to kill each cardinal at a different alter. The alters, or Path of Illumination as they are known, are a secret as no one knows of their whereabouts. Robert is granted access to the Vatican archives to study a banned manuscript; Galileo’s. Clues in the book managed to lead Robert, Vetra, Ernesto, and Valenti to the first church where they find one of the cardinals already dead. They manage to find the location of the second alter, but are unable to save the second candidate. On locating, the third church, the assassin appears slaughters everyone except Robert; who escapes. In addition, the third cardinal is burned to death. Robert manages to decipher the fourth location and saves the fourth candidate who tells alerts them of the assassin’s liar. They find the assassin, but the assassin is killed; on his way to escape. On going back to the Vatican, Robert finds Ritcher holding a gun over McKenna; the Vatican symbol burned on his (McKenna’s) chest. Ritcher is shot by Vatican’s security. Robert manages to find the missing vial after Ritcher gives him a key. The bomb is about to explode, and McKenna, who is a pilot, flies with the bomb to a high altitude and jumps out with a parachute. McKenna is hailed as the hero; the election of a pope resumes. However, Robert discovers that McKenna is the real mastermind of the plot. McKenna sets himself on fire, and it is stated that he died from injuries sustained while saving the church. A new pope is elected, and Robert is given access to some ancient Galileo’s documents after an agreement with the church’s leaders. The movie ends with the newly elected pope appearing on Vatican’s balcony as the crowd cheers (Ebert).

Some of the scenes from the movie clearly bring out the characteristics of a thriller and a mystery at the same time. An example of one scene that helps to illustrate these characteristics is the bomb scene. After a bomb is discovered by Robert and other characters of the movie, there is tension as to what will happen next. The tension further heightens as the characters try to diffuse the bomb. The bomb’s countdown is further near to explosion remaining only five minutes before the Clock’s time expires. The suspense further escalates when Vittoria, experienced in bomb matters, states that the bomb time cannot be stopped. Vittoria suggests that they should evacuate and get away as far as possible. The audience is left in suspense as they wait to see what the characters will do will less than five minutes until a fatal explosion occurs. Another scene that increases the suspense of the movie is the helicopter explosion scene. After the explosion, one is left in suspense as to the fate of McKenna; who flew the helicopter carrying the bomb. The whole crowd is left devastated and in sadness as they presume that the brave individual is dead. However, the appearance of the injured McKenna on a parachute eases the expectancy. Throughout the movie, there are illustrations or mystery, suspense and some mild action as the protagonist try to fight against time and solve the deep mystery. In addition, the presenting of a herring, Ritcher, fits the definition of a mystery. Ritcher is presented as a culprit only to discover that the true culprit was McKenna.  

In conclusion, Angels and Demons has managed to capture all the needed traits of a thriller and mystery film. Robert Langdon is continuously following clues as he tries to solve for the mystery of the missing vial and cardinals. Suspense escalates from scene to scene as the clues are unraveled only to lead to dead ends. In short, the movie has managed to bring out all the qualities of a good movie.

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