A murder inside the Louvre, and clues in Da Vinci paintings, lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years, which could shake the foundations of Christianity.
During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
Following the murder of a physicist, Father Silvano Bentivoglio, a symbolist, Robert Langdon, and a scientist, Vittoria Vetra, are on an adventure involving a secret brotherhood, the Illuminati. Clues lead them all around the Vatican, including the four altars of science, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. An assassin, working for the Illuminati, has captured four cardinals, and murders each, painfully. Robert and Vittoria also are searching for a new very destructive weapon that could kill millions.Written by
Shot under the fake working title of "Obelisk". See more »
The term "preferiti" is incorrect and, though it's an Italian word, it would never be used in such a context. The correct expression is "papabili", which means "apt and likely to be chosen as Pope". Furthermore, this expression "papabile" has later come to signify any person likely to be chosen : for example, if a football team owner wants to choose a new trainer the press always talks of a small group of "papabili" would-be trainers. See more »
The Ring of the Fisherman, which bears the official papal seal, must be destroyed immediately following the Pope's death. The papal apartment is then sealed for nine days of mourning, a period known as "Sede Vacante", the time of the empty throne.
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At the very beginning, when the Columbia girl is standing holding aloft the torch, it flickers like the anti-matter. See more »
The UK version has been cut in four scenes to attain a more lucrative 12A rating. The BBFC suggested to the filmmakers that sight of blood splattering onto a character's face, sight of a character screaming in pain as he burns, sight of a wound being injected and sight of a character self-immolating and burning should all be reduced, in order to avoid a 15 rating. See more »
Haven't read any Dan Brown, so had no pre-conceptions about the movie, although I had seen its "The Da Vinci Code" predecessor, while my wife, who has read the novel, says that the film is true to it. To me though it did look very like "Da Vinci Code 2", not unnaturally given that most of the original component parts were there again - obviously Brown as writer, Howard as director, Hanks as star, Zimmer as resident composer etc etc.
I must admit though that it came across to me as a preposterous, empty, only occasionally flashy thriller. The hope of the writer, no doubt was that by basing the sources on ancient lore and setting the action in modern day locations, this heft would give credence to the events on the screen, but it's all too unbelievable for words.
Hanks' character, it seems, has the uncanny ability to decipher ultra-complicated arcane clues in minutes (he has one hour between the scheduled executions of pope-aspiring cardinals, which are the prelude to the big-bang anti-matter cataclysm, set for midnight) only to race around a darkened and crowded Rome to unerringly arrive just after the deed has already been done! He does however divine enough to eventually save the last of the scheduled victims and of course be on hand to save Vatican City from destruction at which point we learn it wasn't about the mysterious Illuminati Group's 400-years-in-the-making grand revenge against The Vatican but about papal legate Ewan McGregor's fiendish plot to assume the papacy himself...
I'm aware of the novel's massive popularity (which will propel the film to world-wide success, no doubt, like "The Da Vinci Code" before it) but really the plot holes here are bigger than the Grand Canyon. Like when the Italian police, with Hanks and female sidekick scientist in tow, run into a seeming dead-end in one of the chosen churches, promptly abandon our would-be Holmes and Watson, who then, naturally discover a secret passage from the church to the Vatican. There's loads of stuff like this in the film and though director Howard tries to ratchet up the tension with clock graphics ticking down the minutes to midnight and employing Hans Zimmer's pounding, sub-Orff music to propel us to the next big-scene, it just gets crazier and crazier, to the frankly deranged conclusion of MacGregor's errant priest saving the Vatican by piloting a helicopter (handy he was in the Italian air-force as a young man!) up to safety, where the anti-matter explosion occurs relatively harmlessly before parachuting back to earth to be proclaimed a hero. But no, a twist as transparent as glass reveals the truth and normality is resumed on the ashes of MacGregor's ambitions.
It must be hard to act such tosh convincingly and I'm not sure anyone succeeds. Hanks hovers between stolid and stodgy while MacGregor's accent makes regular return trips to and from Ireland as the film progresses. There are some spectacular special effects, notably the creation of the anti-matter "God-particle" at the start and the pyrotechnics above the Vatican at the conclusion. In between there's poor continuity, for which the constantly interjected exposition fails to compensate and too much forced action set-pieces where Hanks might as well be running about with a big "S" on his chest so intuitive and death-defying is his character.
Anyway, Rome And Vatican City looked wonderful as they always do, but other than make me want to go back there sometime soon, this blockbuster left me cold and scratching my head about what all the fuss was about. Best just to accept it as a Harry Potter-type phenomenon, where with a sure-fire audience of the millions who've read the book, the film had to be made. The fact is though that it didn't and in my opinion shouldn't...
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