Hollywood - WARNING! SPOILER! While the movie was originally spoiled by the producers, directors and cast, this article will additionally spoil it, by revealing the trite ending to this piece of Catholic bashing crap.
As some fans of seventies cartoons know, the Super Friends was the silliest cartoon series ever wrote. In it, they'd fight Legion of Doom villains so crazy and stupid, that they'd come up with elaborately expensive plans involving black holes, intergalactic travel and the use of futuristic weapons systems, just so as to shake down some government or corporation for less money than one spaceship would cost.
In case you were wondering where those Super Friend writers went, Ron Howard persuaded them to write scripts for him.
Yes, in Tom Hank's latest "I need yacht fuel money and don't mind embarassing myself for it" film, the premise and plot are so painful that you'll soon be looking up "SuperFriends" on YouTube, just to see something more intellectually stimulating.
It's called "Angels and Demons", which you need to be reminded of as there are no actual angels or demons in the movie. Both Jehovah and Lucifer threatened suit if their boys were referenced in this MST3K waiting to happen.
It seems that a trusted aide to the Pope (the Camerlengo) is upset that the Pope is not going to endorse burning scientists at the stake, or even bother to verbally chastise them. He believes in good old fashioned values like flat earths and witches - which in Hollyworld, is what all churches are secretly about.
While standard procedure is then to continue to serve God and the Church piously and faithfully, while attempting to peaceably persuade others to his view, he comes up with what might laughably be called a "plan". An evil one, of course - didn't Ron Howard make it clear the guy is Catholic?
In the plan, this man with vastly limited financial resources and criminal training will somehow obtain the security plans of CERN in detail, pay for a highly trained man to rob "antimatter" in quantities sufficient to be an atomic sized explosion, make sure that it's perfectly preserved for an exact amount of time, hire an assassin to kidnap and elaborately kill four different "preferiti" who are in the running to be the new Pope, make sure that the good guys learn of his plan in time for him to legitimately find the device he hid (but not so late that it goes off and kills him), then run past the police with the bomb, commandeer a helicopter that he sure hoped would happen to be there, fly up several thousand feet, bail out of the helicopter just before the atomic sized bomb went off, and suffer no real injuries in spite of the blast wave knocking out windows all over Rome and him doing a night landing. A grateful Vatican will then make him Pope and he can guide us all to the true faith as only he knows it.
Oh, and all that took place after he started with the easy task of murdering the Pope he disagreed with and making it look like an accident, his medical knowledge being as omniscient as his plethora of other unexplained skills.
Oh, and afterwards, he sees to it that the highly trained assassin is killed, so only he knows what really happened. Yeah, the whole thing was a two man operation.
As plausibility goes - in conception, timing, etc. - it makes one yearn for a rousing episode of Aquaman versus The Riddler. And frankly, many crazy details, none of which even a terrorist mastermind team briefed by the RAND Corporation could have pulled off, have been left out of this review. And oddly, it's made clear that if any one thing went wrong, the whole intricate plan would fail.
But that his plan depends upon Tom Hank's character knowing his ass from a hole in the ground was the most glaring defect of all. Especially as Hank's character didn't.
With the almost sole clue of "503", Tom Hanks determines - while vandalizing and stealing a page out of a book that the Vatican trusts him to look at respectfully - that the plot is of a resurgent "Illuminati". Tom knows this because he deduces that "503" is really Roman numeral DIII or "D-3" of some book set of Galileo. As opposed to D/III, LIII, L/III, VIII, or V/III as there are no zeros in Roman numerals. And he knows that it's Galileo as opposed to the other 100,000 or so book sets in one of Earth's largest libraries. And he knows that it's not just page 503 of the Bible. Or the third chapter of the fifth book of the Bible. Or a book published in 503. Et cetera, ad infinitum.
In Ron Howard's world, Catholics are dumb, and those at the top of the hierarchy of the world's largest and oldest corporate organization must be even dumber, since they only guide a billion thinking, working and donating citizens from every nation on Earth. So it's an easy sell that a secret organization defunct for centuries is attacking them with futuristic weaponry and medieval branding all due to the Catholics opposition to stem cell research. Gee, the Catholics must have been flattered to learn that they are regarded as such a credible threat to science.
Likewise, it's an easy sell near the end for the Cardinals in conference to elect the new Pope to decide on the evil mastermind who made himself look like a hero. After all, he's way too young, not even a bishop, no real experience...but hey, he just saved the day! And God knows that an organization about 2,000 years old and that sometimes waits centuries to canonize a person is all about winging things and appointing the hero of the hour to the top spot for a lifetime tenure that makes a Supreme Court appointment look like temp labor.
Fortunately, the agnostic skeptic played by Tom Hanks is smart enough to look at the security tapes in the Vatican which the Catholics were smart enough to install, but dumb enough not to look at when their Pope died. Thus do the silly Catholics get saved from themselves by a man supposedly representing science. Apologies to any real fans of science out there who are no doubt as sickened by this film as a Catholic would be.
Of course, Tom Hank's character must have been a genius - anyone not believeing in God is automatically one as far as Hollywood is concerned. And look how he tracked down each of the four victims, just in the nick of late, so at least he could see them die personally. Oh, but he was smart enough to save the fourth one, if you count not figuring out how to lift a dolly and starting to drown with the Priest until others arrive to save them "smart".
Or the wonderful scene where since there is a camera trained on the bomb, they get the idea to shut down the power to each section of the Vatican one at a time. If their televised view of the bomb goes dark, then they'll have narrowed down where it is. So while our hero Tom is in a library room said to be sealed and with minimal oxygen (I know, I know!), the power to that section goes off! Holy Vacuum, Batman!
Bear in mind, the evil mastermind's plan actually requires that Tom find the bomb in time for the mastermind to then save the day. So it's fantastically stupid to have a scene in which he tries to kill Tom's character - as it would ensure that all die, including the mastermind.
But to assume that a room that large, with enough oxygen that two men can actually breath, is going to be a vacuum for the power going out is just lazy scriptwriting. And neverminding that it would be an hour or so before there'd be any real carbon dioxide build up, it overlooks the obvious fact that one does not have to have the power out in any one area for more than a second. Really, how long does Ron Howard assume that even the dumbest Catholic has to have the light switch off before he can figure out that he can't see the bomb any more?
But Catholic stupidity knows no bounds, be it the mastermind trying to kill Tom Hanks, thus committing suicide, or the good Catholics staring at a screen for five minutes, trying to figure out if it's dark or not. So Tom gets to destroy even more priceless books in his hilarious attempts to break glass with book cases. Meanwhile, a gun lays about waiting for an intelligent being to use it to blow out the glass. (Sadly, Hank's character finally uses the gun, but not on himself. And more sadly, not on us.)
All in all, this review must end, if only because one could go on about the idiocy of this movie all day. In fact, were one to confine himself to only speaking of the good in the movie, that good part could be summed up in two words - "The End".