Inferno Review

“Inferno” is the latest of the Robert Langdon mystery series put to screen.  Directed once more by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks in the leading role, “Inferno” finds our protagonist in Florence, Italy; suffering from a head trauma and mild amnesia, Robert Langdon is on the run from unknown governmental forces who want his knowledge for a mystery that he’s uncovered.  Langdon, along with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) must travel around Europe to find and stop a plague from being unleashed onto the world, in old fashion like the Black Plague that was around the time that Dante wrote his famous poem “Inferno.”  Langdon and Brooks must work against the clock before hell is unleashed onto the world.

I’m quite a fan of the Dan Brown books and loved “Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and the Lost Symbol.”  I was even more excited when I heard that “Inferno” was coming to bookstores but I have to say that “Inferno” was a bit of a disappointment in the Robert Langdon series.  I still enjoyed it for what is was but it’s my least favorite of the books.  And when I heard that Ron Howard would be adapting “Inferno” to the big screen I was kind of surprised but also glad because I really liked the “Angels and Demons” movie.  I kind of wish they would have adapted “The Lost Symbol” first because I think it’s one of the best in the series.  I think Tom Hanks is great in the role and I like the globe trotting mystery aspect of the movies which is very reminiscent of the Indiana Jones character.  However the film, much like the book is a disappointment.

Like the book, the film has a lot of complicated story lines that don’t really make a lot of sense.  There’s an elaborate plot that unfolds in the film that is too unbelievable and made the story seem really cheesy.  Because the plot had all of these cheesy elements, the movie was incredibly predictable and even though I had read the book, if I hadn’t I could have guessed the outcome within fifteen minutes.  And that’s the biggest issue with this movie.  It’s not only predictable, but the plot is too unbelievable.  The characters find these clues randomly throughout the movie, and you are sitting there in your seat wondering, how did the character know where that clue was, or how did he know to look there.  It’s like the clues weren’t even hidden but on display and it made the story a little too convenient and it felt very play play, run of the mill mystery.

Tom Hanks was good in his respectable role as Robert Langdon and Felicity Jones was passable as Dr. Sienna Brooks but all of the other actors did an ok job.  There wasn’t really anything special about the characters and none of them felt interesting or compelling.  They felt very stock and one dimensional and I just didn’t care one way or another about them.  The pacing of the film was excellent and I thought that more than half of the film moved at a kinetic pace for audiences to stay interested.  However, there’s a scene that drags on way too long in the 3rd half of the movie that could have been edited down.  It felt like it was never going to end and it actually ruined the pacing of the film for me, especially leading up to that climax.  The score by Hans Zimmer is nothing worth noting and it’s a shame because he’s my all-time favorite composer.  Ron Howard’s direction wasn’t anything special either.  This film was serviceable at best and felt more like a late night cable watch.

Folks, in the end, “Inferno” isn’t a very good movie.  It’s not horrible but it’s also kind of a dud.  I like the characters in the series and for the most part I like the films, but “Inferno” is my least favorite in both the book and movie series.  The pacing felt snappy and on the edge of your seat, but the unbelievable plot and the very stock side characters pushed the film into feeling like a very lackluster piece of cinema.  At this point I don’t know how I feel about the producers adapting another one of the Langdon books and frankly I’m at the point where I just don’t care.  The films haven’t made that much money and I don’t hear people screaming for more.  With the books, yes please but no more films.  I feel like the movie franchise has reached it’s last and I can’t see the movie making a lot of money over the weekend.  “Inferno” is mediocre at best, and has entertaining moments but I would say stay home and save your dollars because the Langdon series seems to have run out of all it’s mystery and charm.

Grade:  C- 

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