Illuminati: Directed by Ron Howard. With Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works with a nuclear physicist to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican during one of the significant events within the church.
“Where Da Vinci code introduced us to Dr. Robert Langdon and his knack for solving puzzles, Angels and Demons ups the ante by providing a huge puzzle with an 8 hour limit.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWith a cast of award winning actors, Ron Howard does a good job of directing a story that was easy to follow and even easier to accept. The Da Vinci code threw so many angles at you in such a short time that a quick bathroom break would leave you a bit confused on return. I didnu0026#39;t feel this was with Angels and Demons, the plot was straight-forward and the action kept the interest level peaked throughout.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eCardinal Strauss (Armin Mueller-Stahl) was easily my favorite character in the movie. His portrayal of the elitist, yet misunderstood rank of the Catholic Church was very good and combined with the victim of his treatment Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor), you will find yourself choosing sides immediately upon introduction. There isnu0026#39;t a great amount of Tom Hanks time as the film focuses more on story than character development and this did well with me being that I had more than enough introduction from the first movie.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eUnfortunately I found Ayelet Zureru0026#39;s character Vittoria Vetra to be an unnecessary femme assistant in the quest since her lines were a bit limited and seemed much like an afterthought. She does play a key role in the beginning of things but she soon fades into the background of being Langdonu0026#39;s u0026quot;familiaru0026quot; more-so than a necessary partner.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe plot is as such, one of the organizations that the Catholic Church wronged in the past (there have been quite a few) has sought revenge in a most artistic manner. Some men of the church are kidnapped and are set to be executed at specific times until an ultimate end to the church itself will happen. Dr. Robert Landon is brought in to help decipher the clues and teams up with the beautiful Vittoria Vetra, a scientist who witnessed a colleague die at the hands of the churchu0026#39;s enemy.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eMusic staying relevant and the cinematography beautiful, I could chime on about this menial things but what makes Angels and Demons absolutely work is itu0026#39;s conclusion. It was by far one of the most amazingly surprising endings I have seen in a movie and I was impressed at how off-guard I was when it hit me. Like anyone else I appreciate a great wrap-up and this movie wraps it up quite tight and drops a pretty bow on it. Needless to say I left the theater pleased at the movie in itu0026#39;s entirety.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIf you are religious and unsure if this movie will offend your Catholic principles. I can say that where The DaVinci code painted Catholicism as a shady cover-up group of sadists, Angels and Demons paints them with a much lighter brush. The church is shown as being a collective of good men who are made to suffer for the sins of evil and misguided men who wore their colors and even a few who have infiltrated their modern ranks.”