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Movie Review: ‘Inferno’ Has One Too Many Burning Questions


Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Irrfan Khan

Director: Ron Howard

Running Time: 121 minutes.

Rating: PG-13 for violence and various chase sequences.

Release Date: October 28th, 2016

Inferno is the third installment in the Robert Langdon film series, which include both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. 

In this tale we find Tom Hanks once again as professor Robert Langdon, whose only character traits wind up being that he likes to solve puzzles and he is a professor. Though Tom Hanks’ charm just barely saves us from the horror of a boring protagonist, I found myself more interested in the film’s other characters, more specifically Felicity Jones’s Sienna Brooks. Her acting chops had me invested in Sienna’s story and the various twist and turns her character took throughout the journey.

While the rest of the cast might be solid, nothing could have really saved this plot. The film’s tone is set in the opening, in which the audience finds themselves in the point of view of an injured, amnesia-stricken Langdon, who is constantly confused by blurry images and visions of the black plague. The constant visuals had not only the character but the audience dizzy with discomfort, completely unsure of what was going on.

When we do find out what exactly is happening, after an exposition dump of a scene, you’re still left asking yourself, “Excuse me, what?” This is a movie that begs for a re-watch by keeping the audience in the dark, but doesn’t deserve the hassle of one.

The point of these types of mystery-action-thrillers is to be so immersed into the journey that you find yourself playing along with the main character, and both of you finally solving the film’s mystery is the eventual reward. For Inferno, the journey is not necessary so miserable as it is confusing. Though it is action packed, (there’s an actual chase sequence that involves a drone, which winds up being one of the highlights of the film) after every clue or plot twist I found myself demanding the mystery to just be solved already.

The film also suffers from a horrible villain, who isn’t even present that much in the film as the character is already dead within the first few minutes. His “evil plan” is one of those where people wind up commenting “If he would have done X instead of Y, this movie would be over in five minutes.”

Though it was nice to see the streets of Italy for two hours straight, unless you are a fan of the book, I would personally wait until Inferno was on some sort of streaming or on demand service before giving it a watch.

Inferno is Recommended If You Like: Tom Hanks, being kept in the dark, drone racing, vacationing to Italy. 

Grade: 2 out of 5 levels of hell. 

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