Last night I went to see the new film based on Dan Brown’s book “Angels and Demons”. It is the sequel to the “Da Vinci Code” and set in Vatican City and Rome. Its plot revolves around the theft of a container of anti-matter from the Hadron collider in Cerne, Switzerland by a resurgent “Illuminati” and its planned use to destroy Vatican City and the Roman Catholic Church in revenge for their persecution in the 17th Century. On the death of the Pope four Cardinals are kidnapped and the plan is that they will be killed one at a time on each hour running up to the final detonation of the anti-matter under the Vatican.
Prof Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is called in from the US by the Vatican police to interpret the intentions of the Illuminati and to help stop them. All through the plot the College of Cardinals are meeting in Conclave to elect a new Pope, while four of their number are missing and being killed one by one.
Hanks races around Rome from church to church looking for the ancient clues left by the Illuminati as to the location of their secret church where it is believe the anti-matter is being held. Needless to say he averts disaster but there is a good final twist to the story which I won’t reveal for those who have yet to see the film.
A major part in the film is played by Ewan McGregor as the Pope’s Chamberlain. He holds the decision making power of the Pope until a successor is elected by the College of Cardinals.
It is an action packed film that doubles up as a tour guide to some of the key points of interest in Rome. There are one or two quite graphic scenes and the usual mix of cars racing against the clock to reach the next clue in the sequence. Interestingly the Vatican refused permission to film within the Vatican City, so all of the scenes in St Peter’s Square and elsewhere in the Vatican were filmed by people posing as tourists and then brought together so that a digital reproduction could be created. All in all they have done a grand job and the film hangs together very well. Overall I would say that it is a better film than the “Da Vinci Code”.