Saturday, May 16, 2009

Angels and Demons (2009)

*spoilers below*

First of all, this movie was much, much better than The Da Vinci Code.

[Plus, Tom Hanks looks much, MUCH better. Thank goodness!]

Plot-wise, they made a lot of changes to the beginning (and a bit with the ending), which I can accept, because it'll be formulaic if they'd kept the book's, as in Guy Gets Mutilated -> Langdon Gets Called In -> Guy's Adopted Daughter Wants Revenge -> Whole Shebang -> Seemingly Evil Character Is Proven To Be Good.

Here's what I liked about the movie:
  • Ewan McGregor. I loved the Camerlengo in the book, and I thought that Ewan McGregor would be spot-on, which he was. 'Cept he wasn't Italian in this one.
  • The Assassin. They probably didn't go into that whole Illuminati business with the guy due to time constraints, but he's much more mellow in the movie, which surprisingly, I liked. He didn't take pleasure in killing the Cardinals; he did it 'cuz he was getting paid. He doesn't like prolonging death. I was a bit pissed at first, because I was looking forward to the sadistic bastard in the book and not a more human one.
[Plus, he was cute with a really nice pair of spats.]
  • PAOLO FROM FRIENDS!! Even though he died.
  • Anti-matter-go-boom part. Looked way cool.
  • Ewan McGregor. Excellent casting. Love the guy.
Secondly, though I've come to terms that the word 'adaptation' means 'creative liberty with source material', I'm still gonna nitpick:
  • Misdirection in the movie seemed forced and very obvious, since EVERY OTHER SCENE with Cardinal Strauss made him look power-hungry and possibly-evil. The different-named Cardinal in the book (only one prominent Cardinal) was a very decent and nice person. That aside, if they'd followed the book, the fourth Cardinal wouldn't even be alive. I miss Maximilian Kohler.
[Plus, how many times is Armin Muehller-Stahl going to be THE morally-questionable character of a story?]
  • In the beginning, why was there blood on the rest-thingy on the outer door if the dead guy and his eyeball was inside the entire time? Yes, the murderer would need his eye to bypass the security system to get to the anti-matter, but there was no mention of another dead man with a missing eyeball, so there shouldn't be any blood on that chin-rest that was on the outside of the lab.
  • They totally changed the character of the guy who died at the beginning. This makes Vittoria's presence moot. She didn't have much of a point in the movie, except to look pretty and run around with Tom Hanks change the battery of the anti-matter canister. In the book, the man in the beginning was her father. That's why she was along for the trip.
  • Was looking towards the "WTBloodyF" moment of the book, but it wasn't in the movie. Which brings me to this: Why "Patrick McKenna"? Why not keep "Carlo Ventresca"? Don't tell me Ewan McGregor can't do an Italian accent.
[They also changed the names of every other character that is not Robert Langdon and Vittoria Vetra. Like, why, man?]
[The Camerlengo is Irish. Isn't McKenna a Scottish name?]
  • Where in the world is the Illuminati Diamond? Oh noes, Carmen Sandiego stole it!
Another thing I didn't like was the ending. The one in the book had much more of an impact, and explains the 'why' of the Camerlengo's actions in way more detail. It is more profound in the book, hence the overwhelming guilt which eventually led him to his end, and in no way, looked like, "Oh I've failed, quick way out, please," as in the movie. I love how the book portrays him as a very sympathetic character, one who strongly believed that he could and needs make a difference, albeit misguided in his methods, unlike in the movie, where he just comes off as old-fashioned.

[They probably could've taken a minute or so out of the water-rescue scene and devoted it to this.]

All in all, good movie. Could do a bit less with the Tom Hanks ego bits. Just don't read the book before you watch the movie; you'll love it more.


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