Howdy ho, folks! It's that Great Ape, the Lord of the Monkeys, with another Monkey Movie Review! This time around: Ron Howard's ANGELS & DEMONS! But be aware: Here there be SPOILERS!!!
Well, well! The Lord of the Monkeys has finally written another movie review! Will wonders never cease?!
But, my children, I have a confession to make. And it's a slightly shameful one: The Lord of the Monkeys LOVED the book, Angels & Demons. It was stupid popcorn fun in a prose novel, but so what?
That said, having just last night watched the new adaptation, directed by Ron Howard.... The Lord of the Monkeys has to say he's underwhelmed. Big plot elements are left out entirely. One of the main conflicts in the book (CERN vs, Vatican) is dropped, in order to focus more on "Faith vs. Science". A small distinction, and perhaps a non-important one... except it means the loss of an entire character, and his absence really hurts the film.
So, with Max Kohler, Director of CERN, taken out of the film, we instead find Tom Hank's Robert Langdon brought into the case NOT by CERN scientists, but by the Vatican. That would be the SAME Vatican, by the way, that they point out several times in the film doesn't like him, thanks to the events of The Da Vinci Code.
His sidekick in the story of the book was Vittoria Vetra, an Italian CERN scientist. In the novel, her father is murdered, and that's what sets up the whole story. In the film.... it's just some guy, apparently. She might want to find out who killed him, but there's no emotional tie for her character, who just kinda feels tacked on in the film.
And that's the main problem with the whole film. It all feels tacked on. Hell, most of the time, it feels like things aren't happening BECAUSE of Langdon, just happening AROUND him. And that's terrible. You should never have your Hero just be a spectator.
The Lord of the Monkeys liked The Da Vinci Code, and had high hopes for Angels & Demons, because it's a far superior book to DVC.
But in the films?
Angels & Demons is definitely one to wait for HBO or Showtime.
Trust me, you'll thank Kong later!
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