Inferno: Overstuffed, Over-plotted & at Just Plain Exasperating
Ben FosterFelicity Jones...
Action & AdventureMystery & Suspense...
Reprising his role as Harvard Professor and symbology expert, Robert Langdon, Tom Hanks returns to the big-screen in the latest Ron Howard-Dan Brown collaboration in Inferno; a poorly conceived and a clumsily executed adaptation of Dan Brown’s fourth book of his religious history, mystery- detective series which not only lacks the visual finesse expected from a Ron Howard production, but also pretty much everything else that makes a movie watchable.
Scripted by David Koepp – see Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible – Inferno opens up with Langdon waking up in a Florence hospital completely clueless as to how he got there. Having suffered a blow to the head, the Professor appears to be plagued by visions of hell – and other ridiculously envisioned hallucinations – as well as semi-selective amnesia which tends to come and go at the most convenient of times. There to heal his wounds – and fill in the gaps – is Dr. Sienna Brooks (Jones) who soon finds herself helping the Professor escape when a female assassin named Vayentha (Ularu) decides to pop in for an unexpected visit.
Having escaped the grips of death for the second time running, Langdon soon learns that he has in his possession a stick-like gadget which is capable of projecting Botticelli’s painting of the Map of Hell. Naturally, there are clues to be discovered from within the painting which the Professor must uncover if he is to stop billionaire, Bertrhand Zobrist (Foster), from wiping out half of humanity using a man-created virus called Inferno.
If you found the other two adaptations – The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons – uninteresting, soulless and overall preposterous, well, Inferno won’t be much of an upgrade. It’s overstuffed, over-plotted and overly obsessed with explaining itself, despite playing against the wonderful Italian landscape and pumped by a synth score from Hans Zimmer which tries its best to infuse a tone of suspense to the proceedings. Just like its predecessors – which, to be fair, had a bit of a ludicrous-but-fun premise to play with – is hounded by puzzling twists and long-winded developments which fail to add anything meaningful to the overall storyline.
Adding to the story’s overall incompetency is Tom Hanks – an Oscar-winner and probably one of the most charming actors working in Hollywood today – who desperately tries to make Langdon an exciting and a likable character; but even in his third outing as the code-cracking Professor, he fails to convince. Similarly unpersuasive is Jones as his beautiful and brainy side-kick, while Howard himself – a filmmaker behind movies such as Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind failing to bring things together, with Inferno resulting in one of his most ridiculously plotted and dreadfully envisioned movies of they year.