"Even the genius that is Robert Langdon isn’t enough to save this one"
Director Ron Howard returns for the third time to aid Professor Robert Langdon in another race against time for the onscreen adaptation of the bestselling Dan Brown novel Inferno. After the success of the book it seemed a natural progression to give Hanks another go at Langdon, but sadly all we get is a distinctly average problem solving adventure.
When the book surfaced back in 2013, it was almost as if it has been written for the screen, fans of the book are sure to clench their teeth as frustration takes hold when seeing everything that has been modified in the hope of appeasing fragile audience members.
As Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up, disorientated with a head wound Dr Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) narrowly saves him from bullets and drags him to her apartment where she demands answers. Problem is he can’t remember a thing. After finding a bio capsule containing the famous work of Dante the poet, the two back track Langdon’s steps and what they find is simply horrifying. Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) a Billionaire with some rather extreme views and takes it upon himself to unleash a deadly virus in the hope to solve the growing problem of the sheer amount of humans residing on Earth. Of course, it’s in Elizabeth Sinskey’s (Sidse Babett Knudsen) the head of the World Health Organisation best interest to stop this outbreak and lucky for her, they have Langdon and Sienna's knowledge of Dante’s work to decipher the clues Zobrist has left.
This is an easy to watch feature that will allow you to become lost in the world of Dante’s 9 Circles of Hell and switch off as Hanks runs through the streets of Italy in the hope to save mankind. Inferno starts off strong, yet on the way this falls into a chasm of predictability where it seems a Hollywood checklists was the instruction manual for this one.
Disapprovingly so, the chilling tale that Brown originally penned is left in the page whence it came – making way for a clichéd, ‘he saves the day’ climax, when this simply wasn’t the case. Inferno accentuates the truth that the sheer amount of people here on Earth are consuming virtually every resource possible at an alarming rate. Perhaps exploring it through the eyes of a madman isn’t the best approach but one cannot fault the importance of such a message and one that simply cannot be ignored.
David Koepp offers much hilarity when it comes to the screenplay, and thank goddess as this becomes a breath of fresh air amongst obvious twists and turns that this one is going to take (even if you aren’t familiar with the source material). There is still the excitement, the rush of watching this man uncover secrets and hopefully ensuring mankind is safe, yet there is such a chunk missing and so many layers ignored that it's surprising Brown let his work be turned into this.
It’s worth a watch if you have seen the other two but do yourself a favour – read the book to get the full picture of Brown’s Inferno.