Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) awakes in an ER with memory loss from the last 48 hours. His doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), informs him that he experienced a traumatic head injury which is causing his memory loss but he is also experiencing hallucinations. When the hospital is attacked, Langdon and Brooks go on the run in order to stop a madman from releasing a deadly virus that will wipe out half the population of mankind. The purpose? To ensure the longevity of the species.
I’m guessing from the synopsis, you think this movie sounds pretty good, right? Well, let me tell you that it is not… in many ways… First off, let me give you some background on this movie/story. In the series so far, The Da Vinci Code was released in 2006 to negative reviews, however, I enjoyed it because of the investigation and the explanation of the different ideas. I liked it even having read the book and knowing all that was removed to keep the story shorter. Angels and Demons was released in 2009 to better reviews than The Da Vinci Code, but still not the greatest marks. I didn’t read this book, but I enjoyed it about the same as The Da Vinci Code regardless. Now we have Inferno, a book I also didn’t read, but still starring Tom Hanks with Ron Howard directing, as were the other 2. The same Ron Howard that gave us Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind. Let me tell you that this time around, I think everyone mailed it in.
Even though they were long and drawn out, The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons were good mysteries that kept you guessing and entertained. In Inferno, the mystery lies with trying to figure out what the real story is! We are presented with Dr. Langdon having amnesia and because he doesn’t know what is going on, neither do we. The movie falls captive to a formula that goes like this – solve puzzle – chase scene – solve puzzle – chase scene and repeat. It felt like I was watching National Treasure, but instead of American history with a shit ton of gold at the end, Inferno was random, jumbled, European history with who knows what at the end. One of the things I found most interesting in The Da Vinci Code was the scene where Ian McKellen spells out everything for the audience. It allowed people to understand and “catch up” on history they might not know. However in Inferno, we aren’t given that proper history lesson and it creates confusion and boredom.
Speaking of Dante’s Inferno… I read Dante’s Inferno in college and enjoyed the story very much. Would you like to know how much of that story applies to this movie which is named Inferno? Practically nothing except an artistic painting used in the first clue of the hunt. That’s it! Big freaking whoop! I really feel that the different of almost 30 minutes in run time from this compared to The Da Vinci Code leaves out plenty of room to add interesting and important facts. This movie feels too short and very little is explained. The movie is over before you know it.
Speaking of the end… the ending is lackluster and boring. I hear that it is very different from the book? I have no idea but it isn’t really that memorable or interesting. I was hoping for something more than just find the virus and contain it but that is what we get! Blah! I wanted adventure and I wanted more intriguing mystery than what was given!
Sadly, there isn’t much positive I can say about this film. Honestly, the 2 things I liked about this movie was in the idea of the film. I liked the tease of Dante’s Inferno and I liked the idea of the deadly virus. I think many of the actors got their hands on the script and decided to give half ass performances and it shows. Even Tom Hanks looks sub-par and it is noticeable. At the end of the day, Inferno is a huge disappointment and something that desperately needs to be fixed. I can’t recommend this to anyone. Co-starring Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen, and Ana Ularu.
4/10 Stars – The idea and premise sure sounded interesting, but Ron Howard and Tom Hanks mailed in a lackluster and boring mystery that explains very little to the audience.