Weekly Review: Inferno (2016)

Robert Langdon wakes up disoriented in a hospital with no memory of how he got there. Pursued by groups who either want to arrest him or kill him, Langdon must uncover the truth about the plot he’s been involved in and how it could endanger the entire world.

Inferno is based on the novel of the same name by Dan Brown. While it is the fourth book in the series surrounding Robert Langdon, it is only the third film (following 2006’s The Da Vinci Code and 2009’s Angels & Demons). Director Ron Howard returns to this film, as does composer Hans Zimmer, and Tom Hanks returns to portray Langdon once more.

Let’s start off by being frank. The previous film adaptations of Dan Brown’s novels have not been very well received by critics. The previous two movies have delved into conspiracy theories and have been heavily involved with religion. This has definitely been a cause for controversy. Nonetheless, I enjoyed both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, although I enjoyed the latter more than the former. They can be a fun ride if that’s the type of thing you’re into.

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When it comes to Inferno, the critics aren’t much kinder. In fact, this movie may have the lowest critic ratings of the three.

This installment in the Robert Langdon series breaks away slightly from the religious cover ups that its predecessors showed. Rather, Inferno focuses on a plot to create a plague to cull the world’s population, using “Dante’s Inferno” as a blue print. It feels similar to the other movies, but it also feels different.

The biggest difference, other than story, was really how the story was presented. Unlike the previous films, Inferno feels incredibly intense. The action is non-stop, sometimes overwhelming in how harried it is. There’s quite a bit of shocking imagery, specifically in the visualizations of “Dante’s Inferno.” It’s a fun ride.

As I mentioned above, Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon in this installment. Accompanying him is Felicity Jones (Rogue One), playing the role of Sienna. Other roles in Inferno are played by Ben Foster (Warcraft), Omar Sy (Jurassic World), Sidse Babett Knudsen, Irrfan Khan (Jurassic World), and Ana Ularu (Emerald City).

While I did feel that Inferno was a fun movie, the story still left a lot to be desired. This is definitely one of those movies that keeps the audience guessing, and as a writer, I was certain I knew where it was headed. Most of my predictions turned out wrong though. It’s important to note at this point that I did not read the book.

The entire premise of Inferno seemed right up my alley. It’s about an impending plague to wipe out the majority of the world’s population. How could I not be interested in that? When you pair that threat with the typical discoveries that have become a staple of these movies, I was invested throughout the majority of Inferno.

Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but be disappointed by the ending. There was no good way that this story could have ended that would have appeased mainstream audiences, so Hollywood did what it always does. It tied up all the storylines with pretty little bows.

The best way I can describe Inferno is that it’s a fun movie. Don’t read too much into it. It won’t make any sense. Don’t expect too much from it. You won’t get that type of satisfaction. If you’ve liked the previous movie adaptations of the Robert Langdon series, you may very well enjoy Inferno. If you haven’t been a fan of the other movies, you probably won’t like this one either.

Check out the trailer below and see if this might be for you!


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