Bookish Thoughts · International Movies · Movie Reviews

[Movie Review] Angels & Demons



Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works with a nuclear physicist to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican during one of the significant events within the church.

Director: Ron Howard

David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman (screenplay), Dan Brown (novel)


WARNING: Major spoilers ahead.

Before watching the film, I first read the novel version of the Angels & Demons. And because of that, I noticed some differences between the novel as well as the film. Here are those:

  • Commander Olivetti is not scary enough and he is not the captain of the Swiss Guard.
  • Captain Rocher changed to Richter and he is the captain of the Swiss Guard.
  • Cardinal Saverio Mortati was renamed as Cardinal Strauss.
  • Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca was renamed as Patrick McKenna.
  • Vittoria tore a page from Galileo’s Diagramma.
  • The Hassassin didn’t kidnapped Vittoria.
  • There is no Gunther Glick and Chinita Macri.
  • Cardinal Baggia was saved.
  • Langdon didn’t get into the helicopter.
  • Robert Langdon didn’t go to Geneva, Switzerland.

Unlike in the novel, Langdon first went to Geneva, Switzerland because he was summoned by Maximilian Kohler before going to the Vatican City. I think it would be better if this scene was included in the film. I also love that part in the novel where Langdon first saw the explosion of the sample of antimatter. But then I guess it would spoil the whole show.

  • Leonardo Vetra’s name is changed to Silvano Bentivoglio.

This has disappointed me but maybe it was changed because they did not want to show the relationship of him and Vetra.

  • There is no Maximilian Kohler.

This has also disappointed me. Even though Maximilian Kohler was all about science in the novel, he should be in the film. I love his character as well as his intelligence.

  • The picture of the word Illuminati was not discovered by being branded to Vetra’s body.

In the film, the Swiss Guard received a picture of the Illuminati ambigram from the killer. In the novel, Langdon received a fax from Maximilian Kohler because the word Illuminati was branded into Leonardo Vetra’s chest.

  • The last brand wasn’t the Illuminati Diamiond.

This was also quite disappointing because in the film, the last brand was two upside-down crossed keys, the symbol of papacy. While in the novel, the last brand was the four elements: earth, air, fire and water forged into one, creating the Illuminati diamond.

  • Vittoria’s past wasn’t revealed.

This has to be in the film. I love that part in the book where it was narrated how she was like a child when Leonardo adopted and raised her.

  • The truth about the camerlengo’s parents wasn’t revealed.

This was the most disappointing. This part was clearly the most shocking part in the novel but they didn’t include it. This fact was also the main reason why the camerlengo did what he did. In the novel, the Pope was the camerlengo’s real father. The camerlengo thought that the Pope broke his vows by fathering a child. However, what he didn’t know is that the Pope had him through the process of insemination.

  • The ending of the film wasn’t the same in the novel.

So in the novel, it ended by Langdon and Vittoria were starting to make love to each other and in the film it ended by having the scene of Cardinal Strauss giving Langdon the folio of Diagramma so he could finish his book and showing the newly elected Pope, Cardinal Baggia to the people.

But I like the film, don’t get me wrong. It’s quite hard to understand the novel version with its architectural descriptions and the film made it easier to understand. I like the scene where the antimatter exploded into the sky. Yes, it was a devastating event but I like the effects. I like the film and I think I would like it more hadn’t I read the novel.

Overall rating: 4.2/5


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