Film Review – Inferno (2016)


Show ‘The Hanks’ some respect! He’s a two-time consecutive Academy Award winner. However, even a two-time Academy Award winner can’t always maintain a winning streak of brilliance. He definitely exerts his effort with the almost iconic but dull character Robert Langdon, but sadly the third instalment of the Dan Brown novel, ‘Inferno’ lacks the pizzazz and spark that the audience craves for. It may have its moments, with interesting twists, but even then the unexpected turns leave us to ponder the question: Why? What was the motive of that character? What was the point in that? If you say you get it, you’re a pretentious liar.

The plot is fairly straightforward to a certain point. Tom Hanks reunites with director Ron Howard in this blockbuster based on one of the books in Dan Brown’s huge-selling Robert Langdon series. In ‘Inferno’ we discover Robert (Hanks) on a trace of clues leading to Dante himself. Along with Dr Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), Langdon races across Florence, Venice and Turkey to try and stop a madman with a virus who has devious plans for the human race which is to make half of them extinct. Is this familiar? It sounds like a James Bond flick without the action. Nonetheless, it’s more of a tedious comparison to Indiana Jones without the bravery, as Langdon often plays the mouse, running away from the cats chasing him; or more rather the WHO – The World Health Organisation.

It is fairly intriguing to see how the story evolves as Hanks awakens, after a very intangible apocalyptic dream-vision, in a Florentine hospital suffering from a head injury and amnesia. So not only will he have to piece together the upcoming puzzle in the usual way but he will have to piece together his own position in it from the traumatised residues of his memory. One can compare this to Christopher Nolan’s ‘Memento’ as Hank’s Langdon will pick up many clues to help him solve the puzzle. His heroic and at times cowardly Langdon is so annoyingly likeable, that you can’t help but support his cause and see the Harvard Professor save the world from extinction.

Felicity Jones as his sidekick should be seen as lucky to work with someone in the league of Hanks. Her Dr Sienna is very pivotal to the story as she runs away from the conspirators’ with Hanks, sharing his adventures. Then her motives and characterisation become captivating with the so-called twist as it arcs to a climax, but not enough to the impact of ‘Se7en’ or ‘The Sixth Sense.’ Let’s just hope that her lead role in ‘Star Wars: Rogue I’ will catapult her into the stardom she deserves and see that her role in ‘Inferno’ is a warm up at best, as it’s potentially a Golden Raspberry performance as well as Hanks.’

Overall don’t expect anything amazing. Hans Zimmer’s new and disappointing score brings nothing new to the table whereas he did flawlessly in ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy. Ron Howard’s direction also offers no resourcefulness. At best, expect a history lesson on Dante Alighieri and that ‘Inferno’ teaches you about the physically powerful philosophy of Hell.

[rating=2] | Aly Lalji

Mystery, Thriller | USA, 2016 | 12A | Sony Pictures Releasing | 14th October 2016 (UK) | Dir.Ron Howard | Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, Sidse Babett Knudsen