Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons” is a much more poorly written book than “Tell No One.” Thus, while screenwriters Akiva Goldsman and David Koepp have much to atone for over their past movie mistakes, they at least got something right with this adaptation. Everything that follows is a major spoiler, but I don't see how knowing the story's outcome could affect your filmgoing experience.
- They let one of the kidnapped Cardinals survive. Reading the book, it was kind of a buzzkill to be reading a zippy thriller and periodically have that levity dampened by the grisly murder of a peaceful man of the cloth. Also, it made the story’s hero, Robert Langdon, seem not very good at his job. You were brought on board to save Cardinals, dude, so save Cardinals.
- They removed the part about Ayelet Zurer’s character not only being a brilliant particle physicist but also a Yoga instructor. This saved Ms. Zurer the indignity of having to say to Tom Hanks, as her book counterpart does at the story’s end, “Have you ever made love to a Yoga instructor?” The Hanks-Zurer chemistry can be described by many words, but Tantric is not one of them.
- They took out the part where Robert Langdon jumps out of an ascending helicopter, uses his blazer as a parachute, crashes into the Tiber, and survives. “Oh,” Dan Brown supposedly murmured at the first test screening, “So he didn’t even have to get on the helicopter in the first place! Ingenious!”
- They took away the part about Ewan MacGregor’s character being the product of the Pope donating his sperm to a nun who had left the order and wanted to be a mother. This is just Screenwriting 101: Whenever you have a chance to remove the part about the Pope making a sperm donation, do it.