Ron Howard directed this movie as a sequel to his previous The Da Vinci Code but Angels & Demons the novel predates the former.
Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon, summoned by the Vatican after the death of the Pope, to uncover a kidnapping of the ‘preferiti’ (the four most likely candidates to be elected pope) by a group claiming to be the Illuminatti. Also summoned is Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer) from CERN, where a vial containing the largest particles of anti-matter substance is stolen. They threaten to kill one every hour and then destroy the Vatican in a burst of light at midnight. A stolen security camera shows the missing antimatter vial, which will catastrophically explode when the vial’s battery dies and the magnetic containment field fails. Langdon listens to the Illuminati message and deduces that the four cardinals will die at the four altars of the “Path of Illumination.” However, no one knows where these altars are located.
The four altars are of earth, wind, fire & water and Langdon & Vittoria are able to decipher where the altars are & lead the Vatican police to them but they are unable to save the first 3 cardinals. Langdon successfully saves the fourth one, Cardinal Baggia, weighted down in water. They find out that the final victim is to be the Camerlengo McKenna (Ewan McGregor) and they discover him branded with the Vatican’s symbol on his chest and Commander Richter near him with a gun. Richter is shot and killed but he gives Langdon a key to his office.
The vial containing the anti-matter particles is saved and Camerlengo McKenna takes it aboard a helicopter at the Vatican and as the auto-pilot takes it high into the sky, he parachutes out. The resulting explosion causes some damage but the Vatican is saved. As the wounded McKenna lands he is lauded as a hero and possible favourite to succeed as Pope. However, Langdon & Vittoria use Richter’s key to watch a security video showing that the mastermind behind the murders of the original Pope and the preferiti and the antimatter robbery, in fact, is the camerlengo and not the Illuminati. In the security video, while Richter tries to arrest McKenna, the priest brands himself with a seal that resembles Saint Peter’s upside-down crucifixion and accuses the commander being a member of the Illuminati.
Cornered & realizing that his plot has been uncovered, McKenna burns himself with oil from one of the 99 holy lamps inside St. Peter’s Basilica. The movie ends as the new Pope is designated & walks out on the balcony to the cheering crowd in St. Peter’s Square. 7 outta 10!