The latest Ron Howard/Tom Hanks movie from a Dan Brown novel, Angels and Demons, is not getting very good reviews.
- from USA Today’s review: “Angels & Demons is better, though not by much, than 2006’s Da Vinci Code. The story, however, is less interesting and even more far-fetched.” And, “But director Ron Howard focuses more on spec- tacular shots, particularly during a climactic scene involving a helicopter ride above the Vatican, than on tension and excitement. The story, with its arcane riddles and preposterous twists, does not translate well to the screen. It fails as an action thriller, relying on wordy exposition. And the array of clues and riddles unearthed by Langdon are as improbable as the notion of a secret cult of vengeful scientists.”
- from the New York Times’ review: “The utter silliness of “Angels & Demons” is either its fatal flaw or its saving grace, and in the spirit of compassion I suppose I’d be inclined to go with the second option. The movie all but begs for such treatment. ‘When you write about us,’ an erstwhile nemesis says to Langdon near the end, ‘and you will write about us, do so gently.’ It was as if he were looking right into my soul. And how could I refuse such a humble, earnest petition? Go in peace.”
I’m waiting for the best reviewer out there, Steven D. Greydanus, to put up his review. Check his his website, Decent Films, for a review soon.
The book itself is even worse!
Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve never read a Dan Brown novel.
So, you might say: How could I judge whether or not the book is good?
I base my opinion on that of people who have read the novels. According to them: the books stink.
And, they stink in more ways than one.
- The novels are poorly written. So says the New York Times: Reading a Dan Brown novel is “a sin against my faith, not in the Church of Rome but in the English language, a noble and beleaguered institution against which Mr. Brown practices vile and unspeakable blasphemy.”
- The novels are full of historical and factual errors. This is from a man who prides himself on being accurate in things historical and factual. In fact, his novels are based on the plot including historical fact. Rather, they are really based on historical blunder.
- The novels are blasphemous; and they attempt to tear down the very Body of Christ, the Catholic Church. ‘Nuff said.
- I have a habit of liking my novels that purport to tell the truth, to actually … you know … tell the truth.
- Don’t give me that “It’s just a story, only fiction” line. Dan Brown’s novels are based on the fact that his fictional characters live in the real world with real history and real facts. He presents the history and facts as REAL, only they aren’t.
Some people will disagree with Bullets 1 and 3. Okay.
But, there’s no way to disagree with Bullets 2 and 4. Let me point you to a wealth of information detailing how Dan Brown could be either a liar, or dreadfully ignorant, or a supreme manipulator who doesn’t really care about the truth. (Or all three.)
- “Lies, Damned Lies, and Dan Brown: Fact Checking Angels & Demons” by Stephen D. Greydanus. If you only read one critique, then please make it this one.
- Answering Angels and Demons from Mark Shea and Ascension Press. You’ll have to give your name, address, and e-mail to download a copy of this booklet. But it is worth it. (By the way, you’ve got to bookmark Shea’s blog, Catholic & Enjoying It.)
- Joseph Dias, of the Catholic Secular Forum, separates the lies from the truth in his article posted at Orate Frates blog.
- Andrew Leigh says that “Howard’s Demon Defense Doesn’t Hold Water” over at BigHollywood.com.
Please: If you’ve read Angels & Demons, check out a couple of the above links. You may have been misinformed by Dan Brown. The truth may surprise you.
Coming next week, I’ll point you to a book that you might want to read instead.