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Review: Inferno

Inferno
10.27.2016
5 10
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PLOT: Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up with a major head-wound in a hospital in Florence, Italy, with no memory of the last forty-eight hours. On the run from assassins and the authorities, Langdon teams-up with a young MD (Felicity Jones) to find-out why he’s being chased, with the answer having something to do with a billionaire’s scheme to cull the world’s population.

REVIEW: Like many people in the mid 2000’s, I was caught-up in the “DaVinci Code”- Dan Brown hysteria, reading both that book and its predecessor, “Angels & Demons”. Infinitely silly, but entertaining, I must admit the spell was broken by Ron Howard’s dull 2006 big screen adaptation of THE DAVINCI CODE and the 2009 sequel, ANGELS & DEMONS. Despite Tom Hanks in the lead and the usually adept Howard behind the camera, the movies never really worked for me, to the point that I even ignored the later Dan Brown/Langdon books, including “Inferno”, upon which this is based.

tom hanks felicity jones inferno

Despite not being optimistic about yet another Langdon adventure, I hoped INFERNO might at least prove to be a diverting two hours. One of the problems I had with the last two movies is that they stuck too close to the books. Having not even read “Inferno” I hoped this might be a more energetic yarn. Suffice to say, INFERNO suffers from the same problems the last two movies did. While they may work as page-turning airport reads, the Langdon books are far too concerned with riddles and puzzles to ever make for a compelling big-screen adventure. As such, despite some pretty scenery there’s a distinct lack of adventure and an over-abundance of exposition – both staples of the last two films.

Hanks seems somewhat bored by the character. Not as trim as he was for the last two movies, he’s going through the motions here, as if contractually obligated to appear. Coming hot on the heels of SULLY, where Hanks really brought his A-game, this feels phoned-in, as if this was only made to belatedly close-out the trilogy, even though Langdon himself gets next to no development as the series goes on.

tom hanks inferno

The supporting cast is hit and miss. Felicity Jones brings a lot of spunk to her part, but the odds of Langdon’s ER doctor being a casual master of history and “Dante’s Inferno”, as well as a polyglot stretches inevitability so much, you’d think that Langdon, supposed genius that he is, would see right through her. Ben Foster, coming-off a career best performance in HELL OR HIGH WATER, is commendably toned-down (I used to have a problem with his over-acting, but he’s since found a much better balance), although barely on-screen. Omar Sy struggles with his English and doesn’t get to display the thousand-watt charisma that made him a star in France. However, Irrfan Khan is superb as the head assassin of a group called “The Consortium”, bringing both malice and impeccable manners to the part. Whenever he’s on-screen, the film sparks to life. “Westworld’s” Sidse Babett Knudsen also makes for a good love interest for Langdon, even if her screen-time is too short.

Otherwise, INFERNO is a dull, drawn out affair, despite the relatively short two hour running time. Hans Zimmer’s score works over-time to convey some sense of excitement, and Howard tries hard to make the finale a Hitchcock-style set piece, but it’s too little too late. INFERNO is yet another dull Dan Brown adaptation, and good evidence that the series should just be allowed to expire as everyone involved could be spending their considerable talents on worthier material.

Source: JoBlo.com

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