Saw Dan Brown’s second book-to-film rendition the other day, and as expected … it was extremely mediocre. I didn’t have too high of expectations of course, since The Da Vinci Code was pretty average as well. Obviously half the world has read and loved these books, and its no surprise that his next book, The Lost Symbol, is the highest anticipated literary release of the decade. But transferring Dan Brown’s intellect and insight to the religious world of secret societies is lost in translation. You just can’t create a 2 hour movie that entices audiences, while including the deep historical explanations and genius thoughts of Prof. Robert Langdon.
Angels and Demons was good enough though. It was an action thriller set in Rome that had Tom Hanks running all over the Vatican and Papacy, always one step behind the bad guys. It was thrilling, it was exciting, and it was fun to watch, but if you didn’t know the story already, it probably fell very short of expectations. Since there is little time to explain the significance of the Illuminati, the Preferiti, Carmalengo, and the Papacy election process, if you can’t remember what you read in the book, these all become unnecessary lost plot. There isn’t time to try and digest it all for new viewers, and if you did read the book you find yourself constantly thinking back to the text for further understanding. I honestly wish I had seen it on DVD and had the book in front of me so I could stop and research along the way. Nonetheless, the story held together well, the acting was good enough, and the soundtrack was actually really enticing. I’d like to download the track played during the credits at least, that was a nice ending.