Inferno Movie Review
Exactly what you’d expect if you’ve seen The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demon, the adaptation of Dan Brown’s Inferno is a moderately entertaining thriller that will deliver for fans of the series and fail to change the minds of everyone else.
Tom Hanks reunites with director Ron Howard to play Robert Langdon, the lovably nerdy action hero who has once again found himself on the wrong side of evil forces intent on doing bad things. The movie starts off in a strong way, with Langdon waking up in a hospital room in Florence, unable to remember how he got there or why he was nearly killed the night before. Due to his lack of memory, this also gives Howard the opportunity to fill half the movie with a tedious amount of flashbacks and hallucinations that rarely contribute to the plot, and certainly not to the entertainment value.
Still, Inferno races along at a fast pace and quickly hits its stride as Langdon and new cohort Sienna (Felicity Jones) evade assassins and corrupt federal agents (does the World Health Organization have SWAT teams? Apparently) while solving obscure puzzles and mysteries. The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat, even as Howard continues to throw random flashbacks at the screen in hopes of… well, I don’t know what the hell he was thinking.
The movie thrives on the strong chemistry between Hanks and Jones, who will soon be one of the biggest actresses in the world after she stars in Rogue One later this year. Their dynamic is fun to watch.
Which makes it all the more frustrating when the film falls off the deep end in the final act.
After a big twist that had potential but is so poorly executed you’re left more disappointed than anything else, Inferno attempts to introduce a new character dynamic that is so uninteresting you suddenly don’t care about anything that is happening. Howard screeches the film to a halt with a prolonged and extremely boring flashback that sort of explains things but only sort of. The climax is decent, but hardly remarkable (and, apparently, completely different from the book).
On a positive note, Irrfan Khan gets to kick some ass, even if his character seems to be made for a different type of movie altogether.
Inferno is entertaining and easy to enjoy, but an inadequate twist, a lame villain and a subpar third act won’t win over critics of the series. But if you enjoyed the last two, you’ll probably like Inferno.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.