It was a tall order: don’t mess this up the same way you did DaVinci Code. And somehow, they listened. They, meaning Akiva Goldsman (writer) and Ron Howard (director).
Although the Angels and Demons movie becames the sequel, as opposed to Angels and Demons the prequel to the Davinci Code, the subtle change did not affect the entirety of the product. To those who read the books, it still is a fleeting and fixable frustration, given that the result reenergizes the outcome.
The story starts off with the quintessential agnostic Robert Langdon receiving news that the organization he previously offended needs his help. He soon finds himself running all over art-loaded Rome to solve the mystery of the missing Prefiriti (or the favoured future Pontiffs). While the Papal Conclave is in session, the Vatican is protected by the Swiss Guards and seemingly lead by the Camerlengo (the previous Pope’s assistant played by the superb Ewan McGregor).
After the kidnapping of the four top candidate predecessor of the Papacy, they soon realize that the Illuminati has come back for their very much awaited vengeance. And via the four primordial elements (earth, wind, fire and water) they will conclude the long battle between science and religion by fulfilling the “Path of Illumination” using an antimatter.
The prequel/ sequel – which ever appeals to you – is subverted by the growing cynical world. With the movie’s rich historical data of the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church (I can’t believe I remember stuffs I learned back in high school –we were taught the process of electing a new Pope and the personalities that will play a role while the Pope’s chair is empty) one realizes that the peaceful nature of this organization is both peculiar, trecherous, wonderful and worthy of exploration. Although it implies a devolution near-irrelevant religious joke to non-Catholics, it is likely to inspire a fascination. The whole armada of the Roman Catholic Church shows astute testament to the power of the Crusade. It is a pleasure to think that the fundamental belief and faith I myself have had is paramount in history weaved with gore, scheme, well meaning objectives and vigor that never loses track.
Going back to the movie, Tom Hanks is memorably better in Angels and Demons. This time he doesn’t look like he has ran his course in the looks department and has gone to a better hair stylist. The movie also picks up a pace that does not drone or lecture the audience. It instead takes us to the construction of the story with graceful traffic both on the setting and on storytelling.
Angels and Demons characters, not plotting, is the film’s strong suit (though plotting takes over in the final half hour). It delivers enough entertainment – or maybe I’ll just watch anything that has Ewan Mcgregor in it. I may be able to wait for the movie to come out on video or HBO because so many other expositions was not shown or altered but it still filled my curiousity nicely. The clever musical scoring and the twist of the story rode well to its ensamble. It reminded me why I allowed myself to come see it even with hesitations resulting from the first instalment.
Plus, the big bang scene was so cool in the book I can’t pass the experience of seeing it in the big screen.