I have never read a Dan Brown novel and I imagine I could not handle reading one. But for some reason, perhaps because I enjoy watching bad movies, this is the second of the adaptations of his novels I’ve seen. I’m not sure this one is as stupid as Angels and Demons, but it’s pretty fucking stupid.
After the prologue, this film begins with a woman in a police officer’s uniform shooting up a hospital and basically everything proceeds in Florence as normal. And it gets more ridiculous from there. This is one of those films I should have live tweeted because the ridiculous thing occurs, and then a new ridiculous thing occurs and you forget about the previous ridiculous thing. I feel like Dan Brown gets inspiration to write his books from walking around European cities and looking at all the little doors, windows and secret passages. They have to be there for some reason, right?
This is a high budget film made by a competent filmmaker with a strong cast and yet it is riddled with ridiculous, avoidable errors. Now, most of these are attributable to the terrible source material but I feel like at least some of the ridiculousness of this story could have been alleviated by some smarter choices. To pick just one:
Hanks could have been running around in Foster’s clothes the whole film, as it would have gave it at least a the teeniest bit of comedy, which this very serious film desperately needs, but also it would have added just a titch of realness to this film, which desperately needs a grounding in reality.
As you might imagine, the unraveling of the plot involves all sorts of complicated plots, everyone isn’t who you think they are and everything is just very, very complicated. There is a new secret society, but of course. The one thing that endears this movie to me more than Angels and Demons is that it feels like Hanks’ character is doing far less free association in terms of putting “clues together.” (If memory serves, Angels and Demons is like National Treasure in its absurd free associations but at least National Treasure knows it’s stupid.)
This is a pretty bad film, but it’s competent enough in terms of execution that I’m not sure I can give it the rating I want to. But I will anyway because, fuck, this is stupid.
PS The World Health Organization has the power and authority (and the means) to shoot you on sight. So be very afraid.
PPS I’m glad they let him get rid of that terrible haircut.