Starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer 

Dan Brown books don’t work as films. Anyone who, in the wake of bloated mess The Da Vinci Code, still believes the author’s work is made for the big screen will see the light with this tedious adaptation of his novel Angels & Demons.

Try as he might, director Ron Howard just can’t shape the book’s dense, convoluted storyline into a thriller that gets the pulse racing.

Symbologist Robert Langdon (Hanks) is summoned to the Vatican after four cardinals, in line to take over from the recently deceased Pope, are kidnapped. Those behind the abductions also have in their possession some antimatter, which could take out Rome.

Assisted by scientist Vittoria (Zurer) and the man standing in for the Pope (McGregor), Langdon tries to save the cardinals and track down the explosive material.

While Howard does well to streamline Brown’s text, the film is weighed down by a needlessly complex, and frequently silly, storyline that sees Hanks pointing at statues and droning on about things that don’t make much sense.

It looks fantastic and some scenes will please gore-hounds but, ultimately, the film fails to capture the imagination.

Good for: Conspiracy theorists.