What the film did not contain was any of the wacky theology of The Da Vinci Code. It's almost as if the filmmakers, criticized for undermining Christianity in the last Dan Brown story, decided to go above and beyond in their positive portrayal of faith. Langdon takes his lumps like a man as he endures the skepticism of Catholic characters, who are predisposed to dislike him. But there is an overall graciousness in these exchanges as both sides share the same goal of the lives of those in peril.

Of course, Angels & Demons is in many respects your typical over-the-top summer action movie. Don't check your "suspension of disbelief" at the door. Overall a much smoother and better directed film than The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons includes all the typical intense and suspenseful chases, gun fights, and explosions that delight the popcorn-munching masses. Perhaps a bit overly violent, it will make the squeamish squirm a bit.

Despite this, the film's tone is commendable. At one point Cardinal Strauss (Armin Mueller-Stahl) a key player in Vatican politics whose motivation Langdon has had reason to question, tells the intellectual, "I believe God sent you here to save us, Dr. Langdon." Langdon politely responds that he does not believe that's true. This reaction invokes a knowing smile from the Cardinal who responds, "That doesn't matter, God sent you to save us." It is one poignant moment in this commendable film set up with many moving statements and conversations about the Christian faith. Angels & Demons is a great reminder to Christians that nuggets of truth, help in times of distress, often come to us from the oddest of places.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity:  A handful of profanities scattered throughout the film.
  • Sex/Nudity:  None.
  • Drugs/Alcohol:  None. Some smoking.
  • Violence:  Victims of the assassin are dispatched in rather gruesome ways, both on screen and off, pushing the limits of the PG-13 rating. We see the aftermath of a man who is shot in the head and has his eye ripped out. One is burnt alive; another is drowned. Men are several times branded with hot iron. Some horrific and bloody wounds are shown on both living people and corpses. A great deal of gun play often resulting in deaths.