Thursday, June 11, 2009

Angels and Demons (Rhoades)

“Angels & Demons” Battle It Out

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Everybody loves a conspiracy.

Four cases in point:

1. A few years ago director Paul Morrissey spent most of a drive to Hilton Head Island explaining the International Communist Conspiracy to me. And during the drive back he railed on about the International Jewish Conspiracy.

“They sound like the same thing,” I pointed out.

“They are!” he shouted, as if I’d finally seen the light.

2. My friend Tim Gratz spends a lot of time online swapping conspiracy theories about the JFK Assassination with such noted researchers as Larry Hancock, Pat Spear, and Gordon Winslow. Push him and Tim will also lecture you on the inconsistencies in the Bobby Kennedy shooting and Dr. Martin Luther King’s death.

3. My friend Ski at Marvel Comics sees conspiracies of a different sort: The Bilderbecks, Trilateral Commission, Skull and Bones … and the Illuminati. He devours books by Jim Marr and others of that they’re-out-to-get-you ilk.

4. Author Dan Brown has made himself a fortune out of conspiracies – first with “Angels & Demons.” Then with his international bestseller “The DaVinci Code.”

Director Ron Howard’s movie version of “Angels & Demons” – now playing at the Tropic Cinema – treats it as a sequel, although the books were written in the other order.

Like “The DaVinci Code,” this film also stars Tom Hanks as a “symbologist” who solves age-old conspiracies that are apt to shake the very foundations of our beliefs.

Here Brown’s Robert Langdon (Hanks) is called in by the Vatican when a murder victim is branded with an Illuminati anagram, revealing the secret society’s plans to kill four Roman Catholic cardinals and blow up St. Peter’s Basilica.

Our innate paranoia is such that fans often have difficulty separating historic truth from fiction. A book industry has grown up around Dan Brown’s stories, dozens of volumes that endeavor to explain what’s true and what’s not.

The plot of “Angels & Demons” is the Illuminati’s secret war against the Church. In short, a battle between science and religion.

At a time when Evolution is being challenged by Creationism and Intelligent Design, this struggle should resonate among both readers and moviegoers.

This go-round, Hanks has a better haircut. But the game’s the same. He has to unravel a centuries-old mystery that would cause a secret society like the Illuminati to go after the Vatican.
However, the good guys and bad guys are not always as straightforward as a devout churchgoer might expect.

Yes, Dan Brown might have some explaining to do when he meets St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. Undeterred by his place in the hereafter, he’s said to be working on a third novel in this Robert Langdon trilogy.

Like I said, everybody loves a conspiracy. Except maybe the Pope.
[from Solares Hill]

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