More like statues & sculptures
I always believe that knowing the whole story of a film before entering the theatre is the biggest sin for moviegoers, and that rule worked on Angels & Demons. I watched it with Ahtar, Sung, Luna, Echy and Noncha but only me and Ahtar had read the book before, and both of us had forgotten how the ending was like so we supposed it shouldn’t be too bad. Turned out the movie was just Robert Langdon running around Vatican explaining the artful history of the city like a tour guide, only with some murders here and there. In the end I don’t regret having read the novel earlier at all.
So, the book is basically: Robert Langdon the symbologist racing against time and Illuminati to save the kidnapped cardinals and the city bombing threat through hidden signs and clues found in statues and landmarks, the bomb threat is using an important newly-found particle able to wipe the whole city called the “God particle” that will probably spark the old debate between religion and science, and also a romantic subplot with the cute scientist Vittoria Vetra. The bloody history of science (represented with the secret society Illuminati) versus religion (the Catholic church) was also described in fine details by the author Dan Brown.
Now the movie doesn’t go far from that, except you got only half the thrill of the chase, one-third deep the importance of the invention “God particle” being explained, and almost zero love story with Ms. Vetra (Ayelet Zurer was quite a hottie, though). Most of the film you’ll see Robert finding the hidden clues found in centuries-old works of art like chapels and statues that will reveal the directional lead he had to take to stop the killings, with the police officers being skeptical about finding the killer through those classical puzzle nonsense, therefore slowing him down. Thank goodness the ending saved the movie from being another crime-thriller-drama — that means for you that have read the book, there’s no thrill left out of it. Just a visual, abridged version of the novel.
If you haven’t read the book before I recommend you watching it, because after all it’s still 2 good hours of round-the-town chase and intelligent well-hidden puzzles, and also a very good showcase of Vatican’s classical art masterpiece done by legendary artists like Raphael and Bernini. But for the Dan Brown fans, only watch this when you want to see what the statues and buildings really look like. After all, it’s the beauty of the town that will avoid the movie to bore you down.