back to article Vatican damns Angels and Demons as 'quite harmless'

The Vatican's inhouse film reviewer has damned Ron Howard's Angels and Demons with faint praise, describing the ludicrous confection of anti-matter, illuminati and dead cardinals as "mostly harmless". The hellishly bland review comes just days after Howard condemned the Church for using "back channels" to stop his team filming …


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  1. A J Stiles

    Top Tip

    Vatican City workers: Keep the Pope on his toes by carrying a pair of wire cutters in your top pocket, and leaving the Yellow Pages open at "Chimney Sweeps".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stopped watch

    Even a stopped watch is right twice a day...

  3. Robert Ramsay
    Thumb Up


    I always liked the line from the review of the DaVinci Code - "Who would have thought controversy could be so dull?"

  4. Shane McCarrick
    IT Angle


    Talk about damning something with faint praise.

    I've no intention of going to see it- as its boring, and I find Tom Hanks nauseating in the extreme- the review from the Vatican is just reinforcing my 'couldn't be arsed' opinion of it though.......

  5. DirkGently

    "Mostly Harmless"???!!!?

    Apparently the editor had to trim it a bit, but it's still and improvement over "Harmless". Seems there's a Douglas Adams fan in the Vatican... or is it just an improbable coincidence?

  6. Anonymous Coward


    So what. The opinion of the Vatican is nothing to me (I can't trust any organisation with their stance on condoms)

    What I want to know is if the story is anywhere near as ludicrous as the first, or if the film is vaguely watchable (I walked out of the first one)

  7. Mike Crawshaw

    "Mostly Harmless"?

    I doubt anything that can turn one's brain into runny cheese the way the books and previous film do can be described that way...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I love it... I absolutely love it. I might get the movie on bluray just for the hell of it (ahem) but I always get a charge out of the flummoxed response from the world at large when the Catholic church does something totally reasonable.

    Church: Honestly, we think evolution makes sense, and science and the church aren't at odds.

    People: How dare you continue your filthy tradition of attacking sci... wait, what?

  9. Rachel
    Paris Hilton

    @ AC 13:31

    Well, I haven't read the Da Vinci Code, although I have had the misfortune to read Angels and Demons, and I think the adjectives 'ludicrous' and 'unwatchable' are understatements here. IMO, Dan Brown makes even that awful Twilight series look like Shakespeare in comparison...

    Paris Hilton, cause I think she might even be able to write a better novel.

  10. Chris Miller
    Thumb Down


    Don't know about the film, but the book is much more ludicrous than 'Da Vinci' (and that's saying something). The opening chapter has CERN sending their secret hypersonic aircraft to whisk our hero from the East Coast to Geneva in a couple of hours. It goes downhill from there (still sells more copies than God, though ...)

  11. DirkGently

    RE: Wonderful!

    That's a nice straw bear argument you're carrying there. Did you make it yourself?

  12. Andrew Norton

    re: Hah!

    > "What I want to know is if the story is anywhere near as ludicrous as the first"

    Erm, its almost exactly the same. Dan Brown only has one plotline, he just changes the locations, and the fine details of the plotpoints a little, and you have ALL his books.

    He makes the likes of JK Rowling, and Stephanie Mayer seem tallented.

  13. DutchOven
    Thumb Down


    I'd like to see the Vatican make a film of *their* book.

    I wouldn't watch it but I've no doubt it would be pretty tedious.

    ...a bit like the Da Vinci Code.

    Errr, that can't be right, can it?

    Personally, I find the idea that a Cardinal could be a murderer a little easier to swallow than the one about the guy who is hiw own father, brings his friend back from the dead, walks on water and then comes back from the dead himself.

  14. Frank Silver badge

    @DirkGently re.RE:Wonderful

    I thought the usual expression was 'straw man'? Maybe you're trying for one of those neologism things? (What does a straw bear do in the woods and is this related to the Pope being a Catholic?)

  15. A J Stiles
    Thumb Down

    Dan Brown

    It's a good job I read "Digital Fortress" *after* A&D and tdVC because if I'd read it first, I'd never have touched the others.

    Never mind the one-dimensional stereotype characters, or the fact that given what Brown obviously knows about cryptography he could barely be trusted to spell PGP correctly; he lost a good few points in my estimation for getting the name of the currency of Spain wrong.

  16. DirkGently

    I know...

    ... it's straw man not straw bear... you know what I meant I hope.

  17. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I know...

    Straw bear is way better than straw man and I insist we all adopt it forthwith.

  18. Steve

    Re: Re: I know

    Before you get carried away with yourself I really think we need to clarify what type of bear this is.

    We should probably standardize it to a brown straw bear with a polar straw bear and black straw bear being slightly more or less of an exaggeration respectively.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What really happened

    Guy makes a movie that pisses the Vatican off. Vatican is ready to be all outraged.Vatican look at the feel and pukes and shit all over them self cause the film is do crappy. In the end they feel that validates that there is proof that there is a god and a devil. How else could such a crappy movie be made with out making a deal with the devil.

  20. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Dear Dan Brown, scourge of of Forteana!

    Dan Brown punting his latest forteana for middle-class, Middle Englanders. If people enjoy it then good luck to them, but like IT tech films with their Plot-A-Matic(tm) applications used to save the world in the last 2 mins, my interest in forteana means I simply cannot take any of Dan Brown's dumbed-down-for-the-masses produce without wanting to hurl abuse!

  21. Nicholas Ettel

    Straw Man vs Straw Bear

    Seriously... who'd win in a fight between a Straw Man and a Straw Bear... pretty obvious, imo.

    Though, perhaps it should be a Straw Bear E.

    Sorry... where's my coat?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ A J Stiles

    For gods sake, dont read Deception Point, thats even worse than DF.

    I have to say I enjoyed the books of DaVinci Code and A&D, but after the utterly atrocious film of DVC, theres no way I'll spoil A&D for myself by going to see that as well.

  23. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up

    "mostly harmless"

    Why am I reminded of Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical block-busters:

    "Where God went wrong."

    "Some more of God's greatest mistakes."


    "Who is this God person anyway?"

    Not to mention:

    "Well that about wraps it up for God!"

    Thumb up as I'm Hitch-Hiking around the Galaxy...

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @A J Stiles

    'It's a good job I read "Digital Fortress" *after* A&D and tdVC because if I'd read it first, I'd never have touched the others.'

    It was more a relief that I read Digital Fortress after them. If nothing else it served to prove my hypothesis of "this man knows nothing and is making it up to suit his plot" - my knowledge of symbolism, templar knights etc was limited so I only had doubts (and enough apathy not to research it). But then Digi Fortress came along and laid my doubts to rest. Rotating clear-text, 64 characters required to represent a 64-bit key anyone? I'm actually getting quite angry thinking about it. Poetic licence, fine, but there's a limit (oh, and apparently Spain's healthcare system will kill you and don't ever try to get a flight in Spain)

    AC for the shame of contemplating whether there was any truth in A&D and DVC

  25. robbie
    Paris Hilton

    Ill wind

    It should be noted by the critics that Rosslyn Chapel's visitor headcount (and financial health) has been multiplied by ten since the Da Vinci Code went mega.

    Although Rosslyn is not a participating Vatican franchise, surely God still blesses Mr. Brown.

    Paris 'cos she's simply divine.

  26. Robert E A Harvey
    Paris Hilton

    Straw Bear

    The only straw bear I know of is the bloke who dances through Ramsey as a fertility ceremony...

    Paris: 'cos she understand simple minded folk with fertility on their mind.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Straw bear?

    Not sure I see it in my comment. And I was hardly attempting a rigorous philosophical argument anyway... yeesh!

  28. Hollerith


    I think you'll find many films of the Church's 'Book': off the top of my head "The Bible: In the Beginning", "The Ten Commandments", "Samson and Delilah", "King of Kings", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "The Passion of the Christ", and a few sequels, e.g. "Ben Hur", "The Robe", "Quo Vadis"...

    Victor Mature as Samson will always outrank Tom Hanks. As for Charlton Heston as Moses: heck, he would have been even better as God!

  29. david wilson


    I don't know.

    Even leaving aside any hint of 'straw dogs' that might try to insinuate its way in, given the multiple meanings of 'bear, 'straw bear' could generate visual imagery anywhere from a cute rustic Paddington to the hirsute horrors of Eddie Grundy's Ambridge Bathhouse.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting there

    It's almost like they are finally adapting to a world full of things like printing presses and other unpleasantness.

  31. Big Pete

    Am i the only one...

    "suggesting that the books and the films could provide "an incentive to review" how the church puts forward its views on burning issues."

    Am i the only one, Who found having the catholic church and "burning issues" in the one sentence amusing.

    It's the coat with the fagots in the pockets..

  32. Frank Silver badge

    @Sarah Bee re. Re. I know

    How about a straw man/bear/pig?

  33. Clint Sharp
    Paris Hilton


    If it were available as a torrent I wouldn't waste the bandwidth. I had the misfortune to read the book and can say that the DaVinci Code was the pinnacle of Dan Brown's career, that's not a compliment.

    Still, nice to see someone is making money for old rope.

    Paris, what, exactly, is she famous for?

  34. BossHog

    Mostly Harmless?

    Ah, "Mostly Harmless".... well we all have to start somewhere!

    I've been playing since 1984 and I'm still only "Dangerous" :(

  35. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    So Hanks zooms round the world solving mysteries

    Remember the good old days, when he spent the entire film in one location either fixing the plumbing in an airport, or talking to a basketball on an island?

  36. Steven Davison
    Thumb Up

    @ BossHog

    on the DOS version I was playing, I got to Elite... then on to Archangel... also had an energy sucking 'cloaking device'

    saved a planet or two...

    What version are you playing?

  37. max
    Thumb Down


    or "Perils of the Parachuting Pope" is probably the only book I wanted to burn

  38. Winkypop Silver badge

    Both these outfits are peddling shite

    Vatican: The great invisible sky daddy

    Brown and Co: Box office nasties.

    Give yourself a break, reject both as works of mad men.

  39. Dennis
    IT Angle

    The wife told me not to read The Di Vinci Code.....

    This is the only time I wish I had of taken her advice.

    I like Straw Bear E's

    Can i have an icon for I like Straw Bear E's?

    Is the IT Angle the Dan Brown wrote the books using an abacus. One of these, then one of these and finally one of these.

    Taa Daa book

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Re : Sarah

    Surely in this digital age it should be iBear

    Paris cos... she bear, iBear...

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