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Angels and Demons seems to be yet another failed attempt at converting
a Dan Brown novel to the big screen. I am going to add myself to the
growing ranks of people who are all stating that the film is not as
good as the book , which is a premise I had fully accepted before I
even sat in my seat in the cinema. However after watching the film I
have realized that making this film was bound to fail as there too much
to squeeze into 120 Hollywood minutes.
I expected the essence of the book to be extracted such as the story of CERN and the creation of ant-matter unfortunately this was dealt with in roughly about 10 minutes, of which 5 minutes consisted of long panning shots of the Large Hydron Collider. This is a glaring omission as the creation of anti-matter and the history of CERN creates the backdrop to the science versus religion debate which is what drives the film.
Where the film falls down the worst is that it completely fails to capture the excitement of Robert Langdon trying to discover the Illuminatis path to enlightenment which is an amazing cryptic puzzle spread right across Rome. Instead we are faced with Tom Hanks running from statue to statue shouting at people followed closed by Vittoria Vetra, who is possibly the most one dimensional character I have seen played in a long time she basically had no need to be in the film, her character was that badly written.
All in all the film is entertaining to watch but will not be remembered and is definitely not a classic. However if you have read the book you will be disappointed so hopefully it will be the last time we will see Robert Langdon symbologist on our big screens.
First and foremost Angels & Demons has lots missing from the book where
pages upon pages seem to have been left on the script floor and for
good reason otherwise it would have stretched into a 4 hour movie! And
soon becomes apparent this where director Ron Howard seems to have
changed tactics from the first offering of the Dan Brown franchise in
that the Da Vinci code left you constantly confused at times as this
doesn't and he serves up an action paced average thriller. The story
centres around Harvard Symbologist Robert Langdon (Hanks) who is
summoned by the Vatican (after the sudden death of the pope) to solve a
new threat involving a small problem of anti-matter which gets stolen
from the infamous CERN by an ancient secret brotherhood known as the
Illuminati who along the way have kidnapped four cardinals.
Teaming up with Langdon to play this cat and mouse game is CERN scientist Vittoria Vetra (Zurer) who thought would have been a bit of a love interest for Langdon...but no thankfully Howard doesn't allow for this.
The other main character in the film is Irish speaking Patrick Mckenna played by Ewan McGregor who appears as the villain from a long way off but McGregor does giving a convincing performance in this role.
So as Langdon and Vetra rush from cathedral to cathedral solving the puzzles in the eight hour time-frame before the anti-matter explodes wiping out the entire city and it is here that Ron Howard gives the film its best bits with stunning sets of Rome and it is quite easily to see that this is where most of the budget as been spent.
There are two problems with the end of the film which appear very unbelievable as you will see for yourself if you choose to watch it.
I think Ron Howard sold stick to make first rate films such as Apollo Thirteen and Frost\Nixon and next time leave the Dan Brown novels at home because it is to clear to see it hasn't worked with the first two outings.
To summarise then if you want be entertained for two and a bit hours by an average thriller then please go and watch A&D but don't expect the book version and remember as with all great novels....they do not always make great films.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
the movie is visually dynamic, it keeps you entertained the whole time.
I read the novel so there were no surprises for me in the plot itself,
but the twists are pretty good. Evan McGregor was excellent. I was
never much of a Hanks' fan so I still don't think he's a Langdon
material but OK. Vetra and Richter are reduced as characters and that's
it. I visited Rome only a month ago and the movie did convey the
atmosphere of the churches etc. soundtrack is to die for, absolutely
I read few comments that the movie is dull, too much of a talk?? what did you expect, a car chase and killings all the time?
well, if there are any faults in the movie, they are the novel's faults such as bending the historical truths etc. and there's something so illogical: symbolist, art historian and expert for Italian art such as R. Langdon HAS TO KNOW Latin and Italian. it is absolute imperative but, as always, it's Dan Brown's mistake
I didn't read the book to see what's difference between the both of
them. The difference can be gigantic or not, whatever, if you didn't
read the book and watch the movie you will feel your money was well
I don't understand why people don't like this movie. It has a good story, good actors, good special effects, action, a good theme (religion vs science); everything is good and in the right measure. Moreover, it's a hundred times better than Da Vinci Code.
The theme is very deep and when the movie is over you feel like you want to know more about the church, the Illuminati and the Vatican. It makes you want to read the next Dan Brown's book (at least that's my sensation). The only thing that wasn't clear was the relation between Robert and Vittoria, that gets stuck between a romantic couple and two friends from work. This should have been better worked...
only surprise - presence of Tom Hanks. after Da Vinci Code, a new Dan Brown experience is , totally, to much. same fake story. and hard work of actors to save it. because, not only anti-Christian thesis, silly conspiracies, unrealistic adventures, Vatican as hornets nest, predictable end are problems but the desire to exploit a trend. result - a film only for fans of Brown. out of artistic virtues, elementary logic, it is only slice of fashion. is it enough ? I do not know. maybe, masterpiece for future generations,today, for me, it remains only a fake movie, without any quality ( except good intentions of few actors )
not only is the story absurd the performances matched it in every way. tom hanks looks nothing like professor the wussy voice the blank expression, the nonsense where the clues are left until the final denouement is a test of tolerance if not intelligence .like the DA vinci code the plot is ridiculous full of holes Agatha Christie managed it better. then we come to Ewan MacGregor. why does this one note actor get so many movies ,increasigly un-photogenic, stuck with a toneless voice he was totally useless as the priest. if the film stood any chance at all it vanished once MacGregor was cast. hes now brought his baleful presence to the ghost writer. i just don't get why directors want to use him for if he was pretty boy there'd be an excuse. the best part of the film was the tour of rome and the reconstruction of the Vatican interiors rightly the church authorities refused to co -operate. badly acted an insult to crediblity i wish i'd saved my cash.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While this is a fast paced movie that keeps you awake trying to
understand what is going on, this movie is total fantasy. An
anti-matter bomb. It should have been kryptonite with all the cardinals
being from krypton and tom hanks having superman like powers.
The plot - trying to save cardinals from being executed and the city from being blown up. Give me a break.
An ancient order of scientists bent on destroying the church. They already did that by using little boys.
Movies like this need some basis of reality for intelligent people to believe the story. This has none.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ever since I heard they were making this movie at the beginning of The
DaVinci Code I was extremely excited for it. So excited in fact that
when the DVD was released in Europe a full 2 1/2 months earlier than it
is to be in the US I went through the trouble of having it shipped
overseas. From the VERY BEGINNING I was disappointed! Langdon was not
contacted in person by the Vatican, he was contacted over the phone by
CERN director, who wasn't even in the movie at all which is hilarious
because he's the one that is supposed to record the confession of the
Chamberlengo. Before that, Vittoria Vetra wasn't even at CERN when her
adopted father, Dr. Vetra, was murdered (in his study, not in the lab)
and he eye used to get into the dark matter lab. The movie didn't even
mention that Dr. Vetra WAS Vittoria's father of any kind. Continuing
further out, Vittoria is supposed to be kidnapped by the Assassin when
they both go in to rescue the Cardnial from the fire.
There are many MANY other problems between book and movie, and I admit that sometimes there are differences, but whoever wrote the story for the movie must have read the book upside down! I noticed that the culprit may have been trying to hide the original messages that come from the book. The idea of the war between science and religion, they tried to dumb it down, maybe to not offend anyone, maybe because the writers were too religious to be effective and unbiased. I am aggravated I went through so much work to get this movie early and in my honest opinion, Sony Pictures needs to try again with this. I don't care if the movie is 3 hours instead of 2 1/2, GET THE STORY RIGHT! They did so well with The DaVinci Code, what happened here? My recommendation? Read the book again, leave the movie alone.
Angels & Demons (2009) is an adaptation of Dan Brown's bestselling mystery-thriller novel of the same title hat is based on the dark secrets in the history of Catholicism and the fight of the Catholic Church against the underground societies and their influence. There is a lot to like in the new film: the pace is very fast and appropriately so, the views of Rome and its historical and art treasures are gorgeous, as well as the look into Vatican chambers, passages, and catacombs. The lecture which was given by Ewan McGregor (who looked very appealing as a young priest) about history of struggle between Catholic Church and mysterious powerful secret society of "Illuminati" over the Church's prosecution of scientists 400 years, or the religion against the science, was quite insightful and illuminating. Tom Hanks who reprised the role of the Harvard Professor Robert Langdon with the obvious gift for solving tricky puzzles and finding the meaning of secret symbols was once again on hand to provide the solution for yet another Catholic Church serious crisis that threatens the very existence of Vatican City and the college of cardinals who gathered from all over the world to elect the new Pope . I should admit that I liked Hanks in this movie much better than in the first adaptation of Dan Brown's historic- religious mystery "Da Vinci Code". I also found Angels & Demons much more fun to watch, maybe because in the new film, its creators concentrate on the crime/mystery/thriller/action elements and did not try to add much drama to it. The best and to the point description of the film belongs to the official Vatican.newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, which wrote it is a "harmless entertainment which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity". I can't agree more.
Angels and Demons is another movie adapted from one of Dan Brown's best
selling novels. Like The Di Vinci Code before it, Angels and Demons
pits symbology expert Professor Robert Langdon against a thought to be
extinct society. Once again the Catholic church is targeted for
humiliation and destruction. Instead of revealing a giant cover-up by
the church, Robert Langdon unravels the reason behind four church
officials being kidnapped and has to find them before they are murdered
publicly one by one.
This story feels very familiar yes, but just as with the books I enjoyed this movie more than The Di Vinci Code. The story is more fantastic than the other one, although still grounded deep in historical facts and accurate knowledge of the workings of the church and government agencies that get involved. This element of the story is what draws people to these movies and the books that they are based off of. There is nothing like it out there. Most movies are far over the top of realism so that you can escape into the world on screen, but with Angels and Demons you feel like you are watching news coverage of an actual event taking place. You can easily put yourself into the shoes of the characters and have the adventure with them.
This face is probably the saving grace of this movie, because the acting sure isn't the greatest out there. While Tom Hanks has made some great movies ( we have all seen Forrest Gump and Apollo 13 ) this really isn't his best work. While it could have been the director mucking things up; I really think someone with his level of experience should be able to overcome such hurdles and turn out something on a higher scale than this.
I still enjoyed myself throughout the movie, even knowing the story and the ending. This definitely is more of a rental though. Seeing it in the theater did nothing to enhance the experience for me. I would much rather be comfortably in bed or on the couch watching this than pay the expense of the movie theater.
So, the final verdict is wait for the dollar theater or to rent Angels and Demons. While the story is solid, it's too much like the last movie in the plot and acting.
Written by Sam for www.overcranked.net
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