175. Angels & Demons (2009)

*AD_INTL_1SHT_GLOW_2

*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a black t-shirt, leather jacket, blue jeans, white sneakers and gargoyle shades. He’s holding a wine glass of Dr. Pepper*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair….welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Warlock throws his hand to the sky and lightning strikes before he walks inside*

Warlock: With the theatrical release of Inferno fresh upon us, me and The Grand Wizard decided to take a look at the second movie in the now trilogy. Angels & Demons.

*The Grand Wizard is in his rocking chair. He nods*

Warlock: So let’s get this started.

*Warlock takes his seat in the middle of the couch*

Warlock: Its time to check out Angels & Demons.

 

*The Grand Wizard reads the tag-line*

Wizard: “Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican”

Warlock: Oh sure, he was in a race against the Vatican last movie and now he’s trying to save them?

 

*Movie opens with shout outs to production companies*

Wizard: Christ, takes you 15 minutes just to get through the credits.

 

*Opening credits along with Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor) destroying the pope’s ring as a part of the legitimate pope’s death ritual. His voiceover explains the process*

Warlock: Ohhh yeah, I remember now.

 

*Graphic reads Geneva, Switzerland*

Warlock: We go from the Vatican to Switzerland in one frame.

 

*Philippe (Xavier J Nathan) talks with Vittoria (Ayelet Zurer) in a lab*

Wizard: They’re in a nuclear lab trying to create antimatter, the stuff that powers the Starship Enterprise.

Warlock: Wish this was for real then, get people the hell off this rock.

 

*Computerized effect of protons and neutrons moving around*

Warlock: Nice CGI effect.

 

*Antimatter is successfully managed. Father Silvano (Carmen Argenziano) is shocked. Someone shouts “That’s a crate of beer on the way”

Warlock: Hahahaha

 

*Vittoria walks by someone in a suitcase. She enters the lab where the anti-matter was made. She finds and eyeball and is freaked out*

Warlock and Wizard: Ohhhh yeah.

 

*Vittoria finds the antimatter gone and Father Silvano dead*

Wizard: That guy just stole it.

 

*Graphic reads Harvard University*

Wizard: So this would have to be Tom Hanks.

 

*Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) frolics in a pool until a man with a suitcase under his arm with the symbol of the Vatican. Robert recognizes him. Claudio Vincenzi (David Pasquesi) says he’s with the Vatican Police and he shows Robert an anagram for Illuminati*

Warlock: Oh great, they’re gonna explore this?

 

*Robert says he wrote a book about the Illuminati and he wanted to write another but doesn’t have access to the Vatican City archives. Claudio reveals four cardinals were kidnapped and they were handed a random note that they will be executed publically. They have no suspects. Robert wants to know what that has to do with him. Captain Olivetti (Pierfrancesco Favino) wants him to crack the case. Robert says the Vatican shouldn’t be happy with him, Claudio says they’re not but they respect his abilities*

Warlock: Good point.

 

*Panoramic view of Rome*

Wizard: We were there.

Warlock: Yup.

 

*Robert says the Illuminati weren’t violent until the 17th century because the word means “Enlightened Ones”. They were scientists, mathematicians, etc until the Vatican viewed them as threats because the Enlightened Ones wanted to move forward and the church didn’t. They were hunted down and killed until they became a secret society underground*

Warlock: At least that part is true.

 

*Ernesto Olivetti introduces himself to Robert. He says they will be working with the Swiss Guard*

Wizard: The Swiss Guard. Also known as Beef Eaters for wearing girly uniforms.

 

*Robert explains why the Roman statues were castrated. Ernesto “Are you anti-Catholic?” Robert “No, I’m anti-vandalism”

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*Ernesto says Robert was his suggestion to bring in. Commander Richter (Stellan Skarsgard) introduces himself and Vittoria is there as well. She explains the situation to Richter. The antimatter canister is missing and Vittoria reveals the antimatter could destroy a whole city. Robert figures out that the plot is the Illuminati will destroy Vatican City and they’re going to use the anti-matter to do it. Robert says the four cardinals were the “preferiti” to be the next pope. The four cardinals being murdered is revenge for “La Purga”. In 1668 the church kidnapped four Illuminati scientists and branded them on the chest with a symbol of the cross to “purge them of their sins”. They were executed and thrown into the street as a warning to not question the church. The modern day Illuminati is going to use anti-matter to destroy Vatican City. “Science obliterates religion”

Wizard: There it is, in a nutshell.

 

*McKenna gives a speech in his office that he’s in charge, putting Richter in his place. He suggests to cut the cities power so they can’t use light during the attack. McKenna asks Vittoria who else knew about the anti-matter and she explains only a select few. He wants to know everyone that’s involved. He brings Robert into a room alone and says he can access the archives….but he wants to know one thing*

Wizard: Do you believe in the devil?

 

*McKenna “Do you believe in God?” Robert dances around the question but the answer is no.”

Warlock: The answer was vague but it pretty much means no.

 

*Vittoria, Ernesto and Robert are on the “Path to Illumination” as a legitimate path to find the canister. Robert is looking for Galieo’s Diary because he was the one who created the coded path. Four statues were created to symbolize Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. They were spread out amongst the churches in Rome, each containing a clue to the whereabouts of the Church of the Illuminati, if you could find it, you were one of them*

Warlock: I should have done this.

 

*McKenna informs Cardinal Strauss (Armin Mueller-Stahl) of the proceedings. McKenna wants the city evacuated but Strauss says not to give in to their demands. Strauss says to keep the faith and McKenna says faith won’t protect people from an explosion. Strauss yells at him that he may be the Pope’s favorite but the pope’s dead and he still serves the Vatican. Strauss says he’s not afraid to die for God*

Wizard: That idea has been around since the beginning of time, people are expendable.

 

*Robert is locked in the Vatican Archives with Vittoria and Chartrand (Thure Lindhardt). Chartrand explains what goes on down there and he’ll be watching him.*

Warlock: Mess with anything and I’ll shoot.

 

*The Assassin (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) gets money transferred into his account*

Warlock: Oh, he’s just a hired gun.

 

*One of the Cardinals says God will forgive him. Assassin says he’ll need forgiveness for what he’s about to do*

Wizard: He’s not one for God.

Warlock: Good line.

 

*Robert wants to know what the 503 code stands for. In Roman numerals, it means  DIII, Galieo’s Third Text. Basically Galieo figured out that the Earth was not the center of the universe as the church had said but they threatened him to recant in his second text. His third text is how he got the word out that he was right all along. He created parchments that would dissolve in water if anyone questioned him. Robert finds on page 5 text written in English and Robert finds it weird because English was frowned upon in the Vatican. Vittoria literally rips it out of Galieo’s text and Robert is stunned. They run off*

Warlock: So she ripped it out of Galieo’s ACTUAL text.

Wizard: Yup.

 

*Vittoria and Robert run to the car with Ernesto driving. He shows Ernesto the page and he freaks out*

Warlock: Hahahhaa.

 

*Ernesto, Vittoria and Robert meetup with Chartrand and Richter outside the Pantheon. Rafael is buried there and the church holds the first clue. Robert and Vittoria enter alone and he gives an oral history of the place*

Warlock: Take away the fictional storyline and you’d actually learn something.

 

*Robert figures out Rafael’s tomb isn’t where he’s buried, its the church he DESIGNED. He asks a tour guide if he built any chapels and the tour guide says yes. The Chigi Chapel was its name. It was the Church of EARTH which is the first element. Richter bows out of this goose chase and says he’s done with Robert*

Warlock: Great, what a coward.

 

*Ernesto, Vittoria and Robert pull up to the Plaza Del Popolo. They race to find the first cardinal as kids light off firecrackers*

Warlock: That’s inconvenient.

 

*Ernesto and some guy run off one way, Robert and Vittoria go another. Robert and Vittoria enter the Chapel by running into Ernesto and his top detective. They find a hole in the ground and Robert goes down. He finds the first cardinal dead and eaten by rats. The word EARTH is branded on his chest*

Wizard: They were too late.

 

*Back at the conclave, the priests vote on the new pope. Strauss says everyone is voting for themselves to prevent a majority. They burn the votes to start again*

Warlock: Ohhh yeah, I remember now. Black smoke means no pope, white means new pope.

 

*Robert says Bernini must have been a spy for the Illuminati. Robert looks at a statue that’s pointing and he says its the first marker. He runs outside and he says southwest you’ll find the next marker. Robert asks Richter for a map of all the churches in Rome. Robert climbs to the top of the church and spots a church in the distance. Robert says the second marker is a statue in St Peter’s Square. Ernesto and Richter are in the front, Robert and Vittoria in the back as they drive to St. Peter’s*

Warlock: Let me guess, too late again?

 

*St Peter’s is complete chaos with people milling about trying to find out who the next pope is. Everyone of every sect of Catholicism and Christianity are there. Robert finds a Bas-relief sculpture cast in the ground and says look for markings in the ground that has to do with air. The statues in the Square are all saints, not an angel. They’re looking for an angel*

Wizard: West wind.

 

*Robert stands on the West Wind carving and says this is it. A bunch of people push and shove each other as the bell rings to signify 9 PM. A brawl breaks out and the black cardinal stumbles around. He’s been gutted by The Assassin who walks away. He has the word AIR branded on his chest*

Wizard: So much for Richter keeping this under wraps.

Warlock: They let two guys die, Robert sucks at saving people.

Wizard: The Assassin is a smart man. The first guy was found underground, signifying earth. The second guy had his lungs punctured signifying the air leaving the body. Still got water and fire…someone’s gonna drown, someone’s gonna burn.

 

*Richter, Ernesto, Robert and Vittoria confront McKenna. They figure out the pope was murdered. McKenna wants to blow the whistle on the whole thing but Cardinal Strauss made a final statement before pope voting to keep this under wraps. Robert needs to return to the archives to find the next clue about fire. Ernesto goes with him but Vittoria stays behind to find The Assassin. Robert is wearing a Priest’s frock and McKenna asks if it surprises him that the clothes fit. Robert “It would surprise the hell out of me.”

Wizard: Great choice of words.

 

*In the Archives, Robert is looking for artwork. Chartrand says the Catholic Church is not a corporation, its a beacon. Robert says “Its also a bank.”

Warlock: Yeah, no shit.

 

*Chartrand says he’s been instructed by Ernesto not to leave his side. Robert “It wasn’t me, it was her.”

Warlock: Heh.

 

*In McKenna’s office, he asks Vittoria what kind of signs were there if the pope was murdered. She said his toungue would be notarized a week after his death*

Warlock: He’d already be buried by then, they wouldn’t even be looking for it.

 

*A Swiss guard stays behind as a security team leads McKenna and Vittoria away*

Wizard: A spy!

 

*Robert and Chartrand go over documents. Robert promises to buy cigarettes for Chartrand if he can find the fire in the documents. Robert figures it out that they need to find the sculpture of St Teresa on fire. Meanwhile the Assassin has the power cut to the Archives. Chartrand freaks because if there’s no power, there’s no oxygen and the electronic locks won’t open*

Warlock: They’re trying to kill Langdon.

 

*McKenna gives his background as an orphan that was taken in by the pope as his stepfather. He became a military pilot that evacuated survivors out of conflict before he was ordained*

Warlock: That explains his loyalty to the pope.

 

*Chartrand tries to bust the door using a battering ram but it fails and he passes out. Langdon tries to tip over the whole archive to break the glass. It doesn’t work. He takes Chartrand’s gun and tries to shoot his way out but the glass is bulletproof. He passes out on top of the tipped over archive and the glass suddenly breaks. He catches his breath as the power comes back on*

Warlock: Great timing.

Wizard: Weakened it just enough.

 

*Back with McKenna and Vittoria, he wants to know if the pope really was murdered. They go to inspect the corpse*

Wizard: They just have to open his mouth. If he has a black tongue, they’ll know he was poisoned.

 

*The security team opens the tomb to reveal the dead pope. His tongue is black*

Wizard: Black tongue, he was poisoned!

 

*Robert says the next church is Santa Marie del Vittoria. In the car ride, Robert asks Ernesto if the Illuminati has infiltrated the Swiss Guard. Ernesto says its possible. Meanwhile the shady security guy stands by as Vittoria figures out someone has stolen the journals. Back in Vatican City, McKenna barges into the pope voting to halt everything*

Warlock: Shit hit the fan.

 

*McKenna cuts a promo to all the cardinals that the Illuminati are for real and they’re attacking. McKenna says they’re really at fault but science and religion can co-exist. He says to defend themselves with simple truth. McKenna begs Strauss to break the conclave and evacuate everyone*

Warlock: What a sales pitch.

 

*Ernesto and Robert pull up to Santa Maria Della Vittoria and find the 3rd cardinal being burned alive. A group of officers go to cut him down but one is shot by The Assassin.  The Assassin then kills Ernesto and the rest of the police force as the cardinal drops into the fire. Naturally the cardinal has the word FIRE branded on him. The Assassin escapes with Robert hiding as the last man standing*

Wizard: Well that wipes out half the players.

Warlock: Guy makes James Bond look like Columbo.

 

*Strauss tells McKenna not to worry. An understudy tells Strauss that he should be the next pope right then and there. Meanwhile back at the Church, they find Robert underground. Meanwhile its revealed Richter has the journals. Vittoria confronts him about them. Richter says they’re not in Rome, they’re in Vatican City, his jurisdiction. She asks what he’s hiding and he laughs. He asks what SHE’S hiding*

Warlock: Nobody trusts anybody.

 

*Assassin patches himself up with the fourth cardinal bound and gagged in the car with him. Assassin says if it were up to him, it wouldn’t be this way. They made him a sinner*

Warlock: Oh great, a wonderful humanitarian.

 

*Robert finds the final clue  at Piazza Navona since all four churches form a cross when drawn on a map. The cops escort Robert to the final church. Meanwhile McKenna tells his subordinates that at 11:15 if shit hits the fan to let the cardinals walk out the front door with dignity and not sneak out the back door*

Warlock; If you call that dignity.

 

*Robert and the two cops show up to the fountain and notice the Assassin pull up in a van. The cops are easily dispatched by The Assassin*

Warlock: These guys suck.

 

*Assassin drops the fourth cardinal into the fountain, Robert dives into the fountain to try to save the cardinal. He finds an air hose in the bottom and puts it in his mouth. Random citizens show up and they all pull the cardinal out alive*

Warlock: Hey, they saved one. Its a miracle.

 

*Cardinal Baggia (Marc Fiorini) reveals he was being held in the Castle of Angel. Robert meets up with Vittoria who reveals Richter is up to something. Richter himself cocks his gun and tells Chartrand to assist Langdon, he’s staying behind. Robert makes his way to Castle of Angels and reveals that the Illuminati met right under the church’s nose for 400 years. If the bomb blows here it’ll take out half of Rome with the Vatican*

Warlock: Will they make it in time?

 

*The cops run off to search the castle as Robert and Vittoria stay behind to follow the pattern. Robert and Vittoria find a passageway behind a wall. They find the cells where the cardinals were kept. They race to find the passageway. The Assassin gets his final payment inside a Volkswagen. Assassin hears Langdon coming and bolts*

Warlock: He’s got his money, he should care less now.

 

*Robert finds a fifth brand and figures out its meant for the pope himself. With the pope dead then its for his top subordinate, McKenna. Assassin reveals himself and holds Vittoria and Langdon hostage. He cuts a promo saying he doesn’t want to kill Langdon unless he has to. He says “Be careful” before he leaves*

Wizard: Don’t trust anyone.

 

*Richter walks into McKenna’s office and bolts it shut. McKenna “Are you here to make me a martyr?”

Wizard: Uh oh.

 

*Assassin escapes the castle and enters the car*

Warlock: Let me guess….BOOM!

 

*The car starts and it explodes*

Wizard: Wow, very good. Good call.

 

*Robert and Vittoria run for the Vatican*

Wizard: What, they’re gonna run all the way to the Vatican?

Warlock: How far away is it?

Wizard: They don’t say.

 

*Vittoria and Robert bang on the door, Chartrand lets them in. Robert, Chartrand and Vittoria run into the office where Richter has McKenna at gunpoint. Chartrand and the Swiss guards shoot Richter as a Cardinal barges in and goes to kill McKenna while screaming “Illuminatis!” Chartrand kills him too. McKenna orders everyone evacuated while Langdon checks on Richter who dies while giving Robert the key*

Warlock: Ahhhh, I get it now.

 

*Robert and Vittoria figure out the bomb is below the Vatican in Necropolis. They all run down and McKenna finds the bomb*

Wizard: So who’s got a battery ready?

Warlock: There’s still a half hour left, this can’t be the end.

 

*McKenna grabs the bomb and takes off. He runs toward a nearby helicopter*

Warlock: Ah yes, the former pilot.

 

*Robert and Vittoria head for the roof as McKenna pilots the chopper with the bomb*

Wizard: This ought to be one hell of an explosion.

 

*McKenna flies as far as he can go to the sky*

Warlock: Sacrificing himself to save everyone.

 

*McKenna parachutes out of the chopper*

Warlock: Oh, nevermind, he did try to make it out safely.

 

*The EMP from the explosion knocks everyone senseless. McKenna bounces off one building after another and lands in the crowd*

Wizard: The impact snapped his neck, he’s dead anyway.

 

*McKenna wakes up amidst a chorus of cheers*

Warlock: Guess not.

 

*Chartrand runs into conclave and tells Strauss McKenna saved everyone. Strauss “Praise God.” Everyone celebrates as people are patched up outside*

Warlock: He’s speaking German.

 

*Vittoria and Robert banter back and forth*

Wizard: There’s more to come.

Warlock: Yeah, there’s 25 minutes left.

 

*People sing outside Vatican City*

Wizard: ITS A MIRACLE!!

 

*Strauss tries to block McKenna’s election to pope. One of the cardinals tells him he gave up his position to elect to run for pope. The other cardinals use the loophole to get McKenna elected*

Warlock: A little different from the book.

 

*The Swiss guard asks McKenna to join the conclave as soon as possible. Meanwhile Vittoria searches Richter’s desk for the Silvano journals. She takes them but Robert notices a computer terminal. Robert then pulls out the key Richter gave him and unlocks the terminal, its a security feed from the Vatican. We flashback to Richter not trying to kill McKenna in the name of the Illuminati, he tried to kill him because McKenna had the pope murdered because he wanted to be the pope himself. Richter figured it out that McKenna used the Illuminati as a front to create the illusion that he needed to be pope. They show the footage of McKenna branding himself to Strauss*

Warlock: Plan foiled.

 

*McKenna walks into the conclave where the Swiss guard is waiting. They open the doors to him. They’re all there waiting for him*

Wizard: They don’t look happy. He was expecting a laurel and hardy handshake.

 

*McKenna sees their faces and tries to walk away but Chartrand follows him. Strauss says “Gently, but within our walls.” McKenna tries to walk away but Chartrand has men stationed everywhere to block his path. McKenna runs for Necropolis and immolates himself with a candle and gasoline*

Warlock: Least he was smart enough to know he had no way out.

 

*Next frame shows white smoke, a new pope is elected. The crowd cheers. Meanwhile news reporters say Father McKenna died of internal injuries from his “heroic” attempt*

Wizard: See how they manipulate the news? Been going on since the beginning of time.

 

*Cardinal Baggia is elected to pope. Strauss is his new underboss. Strauss hands Robert more Vatican scripture and says his only request is that it be returned home when he’s done. He also says when Robert writes about them, do it gently. Vittoria notices Baggia chose the name Luke because he was a doctor. Faith and science rolled into one. Strauss says the world needs both. Strauss “Religion is flawed because man is flawed*

Warlock: Powerful messages.

 

*End credits*

Wizard: That was very good.

 

 

The Grand Wizard has no assessment:

The Warlock’s assessment: 9 out of 10. It was even better than the first movie in some ways because it had a legitimate storyline based on the real life aspects of the Illuminati.

Final Grade: 9 out of 10

 

*Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: That was a great one. It was a history lesson rooted in a fictional storyline so you learn something as well as be entertained. The Da Vinci Code was a possible theory of Jesus Christ being a man but this movie was about a crooked man using the Illuminati as a cover to seize power. Its worth taking a look at, plus you don’t have to watch the first movie to understand the second. That about wraps up another great adventure. Have a pleasant evening.

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