Saturday, May 16, 2009

Angels and Demons, Still Better Than Da Vinci Code

I've read both books of Dan Brown and I liked the first Robert Langdon novel than the more controversial one because of the twisted twists. So maybe it's not a surprise that I liked its movie version as well compared to The Da Vinci Code movie.

Though the non-Brown fan would assume that Angels and Demons is the sequel of The Da Vinci Code especially with the movie pointing to a previous adventure of the professor, it's actually the opposite. Angels and Demons is the prequel though there's no problem with the events overlapping or interchanging since the two plots weren't connected with each other.

As for the movie elements, I nitpick on editing and I hate it when I see ugly cuts in the film. It makes the film cheap at times and I thought they could've made this low-budgeted since they know many will still see the movie just because of the title. True.

Book-wise, of course we know that the movie would alter scenes. Since it's been years since I read the novel, I don't recall exact parts of the plot that weren't played except for the the "Air" cardinal. He was located not at the stairs but at a bench. And of course, who wouldn't miss the greatest twist in the story? The carmelengo is the biological son of the late pope. Still I understand the gravity of that concept so we'll forgive them for that. I assume that we're blessed that the movie wasn't totally banned from filming.

Despite that great bit of twist that was left behind and the disappointment of not seeing Anne Hathaway as Vittoria (from past rumors), I can still say that Angels and Demons is a great film and we can give most of the credit to the novel of course. But I thank the screenwriters in putting a better film in Angels and Demons than the disappointing Da Vinci Code (maybe because of the greater scandal there).

If you haven't read the book, you may find this movie a little bit boring at first especially on tiring details combined with a little drag of comedy from Tom Hanks. (Still I think Hanks is perfect as Langdon.) But the story, particularly the climax that tries to lengthen and form as it goes, will surprise you as what I experienced when I finished reading the book years ago.

As one of my favorite books, Angels and Demons' message wasn't lost in the movie despite the obvious bending to religion instead of academe. The movie was worth the watch despite knowing the ending... the graphic visuals of torture are enough. (Though I think they were minimized for the audience. Or maybe I just had a darker imagination. Hehe.)


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