In the closing credits, it says something to the effect of "based on the adaption of." What it should have said was "based on the very loose, poor adaptation and the location is the only thing we have in common of." The movie was so dissimilar to the novel in storyline and characters that I wondered if I was in the wrong theater. Clearly the directors took massive amounts of liberty in shooting the film. I fully recognize that you cannot adapt a Dan Brown novel 100% into a 2 hour movie (like Santa delivering all of the presents in one night) but the liberties they took went too far and strayed very far from the book. Ewan Mcgregor who is a fine actor was not the right person for the role of Carmalengo. Vittoria Vetra was not fully developed and a very critical element was left out of the movie. I think what annoyed me the most about the movie is the four preferiti plot line. In the attempt to be politically correct and story-wise expedient, they fail tremendously to deliver on this story-line.
If I didn't read the novel ahead of time, I probably would have been kinder in my score but since I did, I really tried to like the movie and was excited for its release. It was just disappointing. The only liberty which I approved of was changing the assassin from being a Muslim to a non-Muslim. There seems to be too many movies where Muslims are evil and this change does not affect the movie at all.
I generally judge a movie based on whether I would pay full price, matinée price, Netflix/video rental or don't bother at all. Angels and Demons is a Netflix/video rental at best because the movie disappointed on so many accounts.
Zac Efron did a really decent acting job. I honestly thought it would be High School Musical-like but it turned out to be a nice movie to watch. If he keeps up the good work and takes it to the next level, he can really be an A level quality star. Zac is no Matthew Macfadden yet but there is potential.
There are two recasts I would have done. Matthew Perry wasn't fully right for this role. He has a comedic bent but it wasn't used at all in this movie - hence a total waste and was a mismatch from a character perspective. I think John Stamos would have been better. Also Michelle Trachtenberg playing the teenager was a bit much. Trachtenberg is a solid actress but for a teenager, a different actress would have been better.
It is a very nice movie and I usually rate a movie on whether it's worth paying full price, matinée, video store, Netflix or don't bother. The movie was worth paying full price.