THE ROBERT LANGDON MOVIE REVIEW: “Inferno” stars Tom Hanks (Sleepless in Seattle, Saving Private Ryan), Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Theory of Everything), Omar Sy (The Intouchables, Jurassic World), Irrfan Khan (The Lunchbox, Slumdog Millionaire), Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen [TV series], Westworld [TV series]), Ben Foster (Hell or High Water, 3:10 to Yuma ), Ana Ularu (Outbound, A Very Unsettled Summer), and Ida Darvish (She Wants Me, The Astronaut Farmer). It was directed by Ron Howard (How the Grinch Stole Christmas , Apollo 13), while the screenplay was written by David Koepp (Spider-Man , Stir of Echoes). After waking up in the hospital with no memory of how he got there, Dr. Robert Langdon (Hanks) is thrown into a dangerous thrill ride that may lead him to a deadly pathogen that could destroy half of the world’s population.
It took them seven years and this is what we got? Huh…alrighty then. “Inferno,” the “long-awaited” next installment in the Dan Brown series plunges us back into the life of Dr. Robert Langdon as he deals with amnesia and a pathogen that, if released, will wipe out half of the earth’s population. Boy oh boy, what a film to watch. We have a Langdon without his puzzle-solving skills, a new girl who is just like him, and a connection to Dante’s “Inferno” that is clearly not as central a focus as the title would suggest. I had almost no expectations with this release, with the fact that this series hasn’t offered a whole lot to hope for and how terrible it was received by audiences, however I walked into it with my head held high thinking “what’s the worse that could happen?” While “Inferno” wasn’t a complete disaster as some would suggest, it certainly doesn’t put up a fight to be a good movie. Howard’s direction was listless, the performances (for the most part) were bland, and the story was jumbled beyond reason. It’s what this franchise has almost swayed into in the past, but this time around the ball has been dropped. When it came to the plot, there wasn’t much to revel in. As with “Angels & Demons,” this was a race against the clock, but with the stakes somehow non-existent. Sure, the thing to stop was a deadly pathogen bent on crippling the earth, but the pacing and plot devices implemented in this picture make things far more complicated to really get tense about. We open with Langdon waking up in a hospital, only to lose his memory of why he was there in the first place. It’s a method used by some features to gain interest of the audience, but that’s not where the issue lies; what happens afterwards is what I have trouble handling. There’s a lot of intense things that happen (this franchise is known for its frivolous nature), and more often than not I rolled my eyes and scoffed at what I was seeing. Through the confusion that came with understanding Langdon’s psyche in this film came an even more convoluted way of explaining how he ended up where he was. Most of the dialogue enforced in this story was expository, having the audience watch as people in suits explained everything going on up to that point; you’d think the script would give a plausible response to the ordeal Langdon is going through. While the events leading to Langdon’s hospital stay were somewhat solid (I’m putting that lightly), the whole scheme in general to it all was completely silly. I’ve put up with a lot of ludicrous scenarios in this series, but this one takes the cake. Aside from that twist that is supposed to be rewarded to the audience in the third act of the movie, we also have another one that occurs just before that, and it’s just as unwarranted. A lot of what plays out in “Inferno” requires heavy character development and story treatment to fill out. Because this franchise has lacked in the character department, I wasn’t surprised to find them so dull. There wasn’t really any meat to any of these people, causing me to not care about them or the situation they were in. This in turn made these twists in the story flat, lifeless, and completely insane. It’s a shame that these actors were tied to this project because I know all of them are more talented than this material can handle. I’m confused as to if this was a money gamble or they genuinely wanted to make another (I’d go with the first option, even though I don’t know how much they made on the previous endeavors). It was a disappointment to see Howard churn out a lifeless product. The locations are nice, Tom Hanks and some of the actors try, and the musical score isn’t that bad, but what it all comes down to is a boring story that tries to excite the audience by injecting silly twists and a conflict that’s supposed to raise stakes beyond maximum capacity. We’ve seen these stakes plenty of times in other features, so what’s to draw us into this? I guess that’s the question the people who worked on this failed to answer. FINAL SCORE: 60%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: