Saturday, October 15, 2016



From IMDB:

Academy Award® winner Ron Howard returns to direct the latest bestseller in Dan Brown's (Da Vinci Code) billion-dollar Robert Langdon series, Inferno, which finds the famous symbologist (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world's population.Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Inferno (2016) on IMDb

Reviews 10 user | 76 critic

Tom Hanks reprises his role as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon in director Ron Howard and screenwriter David Koepp's adaptation of author Dan Brown's bestselling novel Inferno, which finds Langdon using Dante's The Divine Comedy as a tool in the race to prevent a devastating global pandemic. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of action and violence, disturbing images, some language, thematic elements and brief sensuality.)
Genre: Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Ron Howard
Written By: David Koepp
In Theaters: Oct 28, 2016 Wide
Runtime: 121 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures

Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 25

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

WANT TO SEE 97% want to see
User Ratings: 17,878


The movie doesn't start here but Mr. Langdon's troubles in Italy certainly does. ©Columbia Pictures

A movie where you spend most of the time in rooms, hallways, museums with the occasional walk outdoors... 

First a caveat, I have not read any of Dan Brown's books nor have I seen any of the previous films adapted from his books. But I do know what they are about. 

So Inferno, the fourth novel in the Robert Langdon book series and the third film in the series directed by Ron Howard. If you follow the books you'll know that Inferno is the fourth in the series, and if you've followed the films as well, that the films don't follow the release sequence of the books. If Ron Howard and the studios had followed the books then what cinemagoers should have seen first would be Angels & Demons (2009) before The Da Vinci Code (2006). And if you really are a fan you'd be wondering why they skipped over another book, The Lost Symbol (2009), to make this one. I have no answers for you on that. 

And within the few hours that transpires between that evening and when he wakes up in the hospital the bad guys manage to put amazing visions inside his head. ©Columbia Pictures

Anyway, on to the film. If you haven't read the book or seen the trailer or read the descriptions for it up there then let me try to briefly inform you of what it's about without ruining the whole story for you. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) finds himself in a hospital in Florence, Italy being attended by a Dr Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones). He has no memory of the past 48 hours and has no idea of even traveling to Italy. Just as he is about to get his bearings a woman dressed as an Italian Carabinieri (Ana Ularu) tries to kill him and they both escape finding refuge at Dr. Sienna's apartment. 

The next day, going through his belongings they discover a biohazard canister with a thumbprint scanner on it. Langdon puts his thumb on the scanner and voilà it opens to reveal a carved piece of human bone with a projector in it. Turning on the projector reveals an image of Dante Alighieri's conception of hell. But someone has altered it somewhat. They find a name on the image and a quick search on the internet leads them to a man named Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster). Putting what they know so far they guess that he may be planning to release a virus that would kill well over half of the world population. They decide to call the American Consulate. 

Which eventually ends up with him in some strangers apartment with a tiny projector built into a piece of human bone. ©Columbia Pictures

Their call to the consulate brings about a man named Cristoph Bouchard (Omar Sy) and his swat team to the apartment. They are from the W.H.O. The pair manage to escape and Bouchard has to face an unhappy Dr. Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen) who tells them to try harder. At the scene also is Vayentha, the policewoman who tried to kill them at the hospital, her employers too are unhappy and she is given clear instructions to complete her mission or face harsh consequences by a man she calls "The Provost", a man named Harry Sims (Irrfan Khan) the head of a secret security organisation that provides unique solutions. 

So as Langdon tries to piece together what has happened to him in the last 48 hours as well as try to solve the clues that he finds in one museum after another, taking trains and planes from one country to another, he also has to contend with numerous people trying to chase after him. And he has no idea who is trying to kill him or help him. 

With a clue that leads them here, trying to look for tiny words in huge paintings. ©Columbia Pictures

So here's a few things I sort of liked.

  1. Tom Hanks. As always his performance is a pleasure to watch. 
  2. The museums. Always cool to see these places and especially the areas you don't usually get to see as tourist. 
  3. The art/museum pieces. Always nice to learn something about them. 
  4. Using Dante Alighieri's Inferno. It was sort of cool. Sort of interesting.
  5. The camera work and the visuals as well as the editing. Interesting work. Kept it feeling tense and dramatic but not all the time though. 
Then at another place looking for something that he had stolen but couldn't remember. ©Columbia Pictures

A few things I wasn't impressed with.

  1. The story. It started off interestingly enough but soon became a little dull and tedious. Having characters that have been introduced as either being professionals in their field or being a child prodigy obsesses with history and whatever else Robert Langdon is interested in and then having historical facts and trivia mentioned among them in the most inane way just so that the audience is informed of something just makes it all so stupid and silly.
  2. A few things were really hard to believe. That someone could have a specific amount of time erased from his memory temporarily so completely and have it replaced with very specific imagery and visions in a few hours. That the W.H.O. has a paramilitary section that can do whatever it needs to do unhindered by local enforcement. That a brilliant scientist/billionaire can create the deadliest and fastest spreading virus ever and decides to put it in a big clear plastic bag and hides it almost in plain sight under less than a feet of water. That a museum housing some of the world's greatest artifacts doesn't do a full walkthrough/check of it's displays at the beginning and end of the day and that there are no anti-theft measures installed. There's more. All of it made it hard to get into the story.
  3. The dialogue was so trite and unimaginative let alone intelligent. 

A valuable death mask that someone had vandalized but somehow the museum that displayed it didn't discover. ©Columbia Pictures

Inferno didn't turn out to be the tense intelligent action thriller that I was expecting it to be. It started of somewhat promisingly but quite quickly deteriorated into a tedious Where's Waldo search where the parents are right there telling you where to look. Was it like this in the previous two films? Are the books like this? I did check out the reviews and ratings of the previous two films and it would seem that Inferno is no different from the others. If the books aren't like this then I'm wondering if it's the fault of the film makers for dumbing it down to please what they think fans of Dan Brown's book enjoy. If those and this film is what Dan Brown's fans enjoy and think is good then.. 

And also they get chased around by a drone. ©Columbia Pictures

In the end I was far from entertained. Too many hard-to-believe situations occur in this film that made it hard for me to really get into it and enjoy it. In fact it made enjoying Tom Hanks difficult. I can only give this a 2 out of 5. If you're a fan of the first two films and actually enjoyed them maybe you'll like this one too. If you're a fan of Dan Brown's book maybe go see it. If you've neither read the books or seen the previous films, you can give this a miss.

Check out the latest trailer for it.



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