The second part of my double-header included a midnight showing of Angels & Demons, the sequel/prequel to The DaVinci Code. After a refill of my drink, I found my seat and relaxed.
If you have read the books, then you know that Angels comes before Code; however, with some quick wordplay, Ron Howard and Company turn this into a sequel from the movie perspective. Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon, who is asked by the Vatican to help resolve a crisis involving ancient societies and missing cardinals. What follows is decently-paced trek through Rome to find and prevent murder. Ewan Macgregor is well-cast as the Camerlengo and the rest of the supporting cast handles their duties satisfactorily.
The movie is the equivalent of the Cliff Notes version of the book. I know that a 700 page paperback is not going to scale well to a two-hour movie, but I give Howard credit for hitting most of the big plot points and story beats. Still, there was a lot missing. Given all of that, I am still glad I read the book before seeing it.
Unlike Code, which condemned the Church, Angels actually shows support for it. This is why there wasn’t a massive backlash last week when the movie premiered. While Howard did a great job of utilizing movie tricks to make the movie come to life, I can’t help but wonder what it would have looked like if they had actually gotten to film inside the Vatican.
My advice: matinee or AMC-half-price – not quite worth full-price, but not that bad of a choice either. It is definitely faster-paced than Code and more memorable…