No rants this time (Angels and Demons movie)


I enjoy reading Dan Brown, especially the Robert Langdon novels, because while you need to suspend your disbelief while reading the books, Brown knows how to build up a good chase.I’m also a sucker for art thrillers, and I love the interesting artsy details that are incorporated into the novels, traversing artistic hotspots such as the Louvre and Vatican City, and dissecting the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, and Bernini. 

Other than that I love scholarly protagonists (e.g. Paul in The Historian, Sherlock Holmes) and Robert Langdon hits the mark on that aspect.

I distinctly remember the first time I read Angels and Demons: in ebook format beamed to my phone from my computer, because I was in my last semester in college and I couldn’t afford to buy brand-new books then. Angels and Demons is one of the scariest books I’ve ever read, and I remember getting even more scared a couple of months later, when Pope John Paul II died and I was imagining an Angels and Demons scenario playing out. Of course, that was just in my head, and the conclave proceeded without any events that resembled the Dan Brown plot.

By the end of the year I bought a hardbound Robert Langdon omnibus at Fully Booked at 40% off, so it was less than P400. I also have fond memories of this book, as it was one of my cat Tomas’ (he died of kidney failure and cardiac arrest in November 2008) favorite perches when he was still a kitten.

Now I really didn’t like the Da Vinci Code movie, because it was so boring and I felt it copped out at the end so I didn’t have high expectations for Angels and Demons. I was out of town covering a race on opening week, so I decided to watch it as soon as I returned, never mind that everyone else I knew already saw it and I had to watch alone.

I normally have a problem with film adaptations, but I actually liked the Angels and Demons movie, which is surprising because the book is my favorite Dan Brown novel.Not that they didn’t deviate from the novel — they eliminated Maximilian Kohler, Father Silvano became Vittoria’s research partner, Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca turned into the Irish Patrick McKenna (hotness aside, I really had a hard time picturing Ewan McGregor in the role), Cardinal Baggia survived among the preferiti and became Pope (as opposed to Cardinal Strauss), and Langdon’s famous parachute escape was glaringly missing, among other things — but the pace was good and I didn’t nod off at any point in the movie like I did at Da Vinci Code. 

It’s not a movie for critical acclaim, but at least, unlike its predecessor, it stands up well enough alone that even those who haven’t read the book are able to follow the action.

I read at Dan Brown’s site that the third Langdon novel, The Lost Symbol, is coming out this September. I’ll definitely be reading that one.

My copy: Robert Langdon Omnibus, hardcover

My rating: Angels and Demons book 4/5 stars, Angels and Demons movie 3.5/5 stars

13 thoughts on “No rants this time (Angels and Demons movie)”

  1. Mas gusto ko din ang story ng angels and demons na novel. Mas okay talaga siya gawin movie kaya siguro maganda din ang movie outcome. Kakapanood ko lang kanina nun movie.

  2. Ray-ann- I guess I also liked it because an enlightened secret society wanting to get their revenge at the Catholic church is more (relatively) believable than someone in this day and age being a direct descendant of Jesus Christ =)

  3. hi, blooey!
    yup..i like this movie, too (even if i hadn’t seen the Da Vinci code movie..hehe) it didn’t hurt that the Camerlengo was gwapo (though i felt that he didn’t exude as much spirituality as the book’s Carlo Ventresca). ^_^

  4. I like Dan Brown too and was wasn’t sure wether I would go to see the movie – but sooo tempted because I like all the art and thought “how could they go wrong in the movie with all that great content!?” Thanks for the review! I’m glad you liked it! So Sorry about Tomas… what a cute photo of him sitting on his ‘perch’. He had good taste too! It’s nice that you have such good memories together….

  5. @Ray-ann. Oo naman, fiction. But I guess, being Catholic, I was more affected by Angels and Demons.

    @Mauie: true, somehow Ewan McGregor isn’t as charismatic as Carlo Ventresca.

    and yeah, I miss Tomas :(

  6. @Suzanne: I know, all that art makes me positively giddy! And I’m amazed by the fact that the movie was shot in its entirety in LA! The wonders of CGI!

    When Tomas got bigger, I used to make him pick out my next read — I’d lay out three books in front of him and read the one he puts his paw on. Too bad my other cat (Missy) and my dog (Macky) don’t seem to be into books like Tomas was.

  7. Finally, another book blogger who’s not afraid to admit to liking Dan Brown! I agree – you need to suspend belief, but his books are good suspenseful page-turners.

    I haven’t read Angels & Demons yet (or seen the movie), but my husband enjoyed the book very much, and we both loved DaVinci Code (the book). Thanks for the review!


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