Ron Howard’s film Angels and Demons was much better than his film depiction of another Dan Brown book the Da Vinci Code. In fact, I thought overall it was a pretty good movie. I am not going to compare it to the book because I have learned that translating these religious themed Brown books is difficult because most of it has to do with the inner struggles and mental path that the character is taking in the story. That is too hard to translate into the film. There are also some artistic liberties that are taken in the film for the purpose of plot and because of the nature of that genre.
Angels and Demons, as a film, is a thriller. Tom Hanks, who plays lead Robert Langdon, is again caught up in a mystery in the Vatican involving the murders of potential papal candidates during the conclave of cardinals as they decide the next Pope. The murders are attributed to an ancient organization of scientists and academics which was opposed to the Church’s backwards dogma and which had been persecuted by the church.
The film is a fast pacing ride through both clues and surprises as the plot unfolds. The story is filled with the age old question, “Does God exist?” The struggle between mind and spirit is treated with some balance in the film against a backdrop of the extreme viewpoints. I thought that was one of the best layers of the storyline.
Tom Hanks and Ewan Mcgregor both did a great job in their roles. The film had sweeping vista shots using both technology and wonderful location scenes to bring about majesty of the Vatican and modern Catholic Rome.