The action starts in the Vatican after the sudden death of the Pope; simultaneously, the Hadron Collider in Switzerland successfully generates anti-matter. Shortly after this remarkable scientific achievement, one of the vials of antimatter is stolen by a mysterious stranger. After four Cardinals are kidnapped, a mysterious ransom video and note show up brandishing the word Illuminati, an ancient group infamous for opposing the Catholic Church in the 1600Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. Harvard symbologist professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and his team of investigators urgently seek meaning behind the IlluminatiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cryptic clues, in order to save not only the lives of the kidnapped Cardinals, but everybody in Rome as well.
Bits of history are sporadically spoon-fed to the audience about the Church/Illuminati strife, as well as each party involved; this method allows for viewers who have not read the Dan Brown novels to closely follow along. The movie is quite suspenseful, as each discovery the team makes only leads to yet another shrouded clue in the web of Illuminati references. This, however, gets a bit tiresome as it serves for the basic architecture for the entire two hours: the result being a lot of talk and sparse action.
The recurring theme acts as a metaphor for hot-button topics of today, issues that mostly boil down to religious vs. scientific beliefs. Within the movie are characters of vacillating mentalities, such as staunch Catholic priests in addition to more progressive-minded ministers. These sorts of characters essentially bridge the gap between religion and science, in an attempt to prove how each side has its utility.
Even if you do not follow the series of novels religiously (pun intended), Angels & Demons is guaranteed to deliver as thorough entertainment with remarkable suspense. It opened worldwide on May 15 with $152 million in earnings, and is now playing in theaters.