I remember getting chills during the trailer for this movie. I was very excited that this second installment was on its way to theaters and I was in no way disappointed by the results. Director Ron Howard has crafted a movie that could stand alone without The DaVinci Code, which makes sense considering Angels & Demons was Dan Brown’s first book featuring Robert Langdon (played in the films by Tom Hanks).
I figure DaVinci Code was made first due to the controversial nature of the novel. Controversy, as we know, breeds interest, which in turn can become sales in the world of media. As a result, The DaVinci Code became a bestselling book and a successful film, despite panning by critics.
One of the main differences between DaVinci and Angels & Demons is the pacing. Angels & Demons moves much faster and has a ticking clock attached to its story that makes all the talking and explaining needed take place on the go.
I have read both books and, as we all know, the books are almost always better than the film adapted from them. But Angels & Demons manages to retain the core of the novel’s storyline while deviating enough to create a plot and moments that are more filmic in their scope. As a result, the film works. Compared to DaVinci Code, I think it works slightly better due to the pacing and structure of the story.
If you hated DaVinci Code, you’ll probably feel the same way about Angels & Demons. If you enjoyed the National Treasure or Indiana Jones movies, this is in a similar vein. I would also recommend it to anyone who enjoys movies with codes, puzzles, twists, turns, and surprise endings.
Now, on to the special features. The edition I have is a three-disc special edition that includes an extended version of the film, two discs of bonus features, and a booklet. There are several versions of the film that are around, including Blu-ray, a single disc, and two-disc set.
Let’s explore each disc.
Extended Version of the film with 25 more minutes of movie.
Rome Was Not Built in a Day
Writing Angels & Demons
Characters in Search of the True Story
CERN: Pushing the Frontiers of Knowledge
Angels & Demons: The Full Story
This is an Ambigram
Science vs. Religion
A Visit to Vatican City
Following the Path of Illumination
I’ll be honest, they could have put the four featurettes on the third disc on the second due to how short they are. I know it’s supposed to be a special extra for the three-disc edition, but the first three are less than 3 minutes each, and the fourth featurette is under 15, so they could have easily fit onto the second DVD without any problems.
Since many consider Angels & Demons to be superior to The DaVinci Code, we’ll have to see if the latest Robert Langdon adventure, The Lost Symbol, can eclipse either of these at the box office. For now, enjoy Angels & Demons and have some fun!