Review: Inferno (2016) – A Middling Chapter In The Robert Langdon Trilogy

Igniting cinema screen over 7 years after the second installment of the Dan Brown adventure stories; it’s hard to understand why it was felt this belated sequel needed to be told. And even after sitting through this 121 minute history lesson. my opinion is still the same: WHY?

Tom Hanks returns in the role of Robert Langdon, the boring version of Indiana Jones and star of the previous Dan Brown adaptations, The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.

Waking up from a coma, Langdon must search Europe for a variety of clues that will hopefully prevent a viral outbreak that will wipe out humanity. Accompanied by Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), he faces off against a variety of opponents, ranging from the World Health Organisation to the mysterious Consortium.

Unlike the previous two films, the structure of the story is a little more unusual, but this turns out to be a boon in disguise as it allows Hanks to play the character of Langdon as far more doubtful and unsure than previous portrayals. By learning the details of the case at roughly the same time as Langdon, I would think the audience would find it easier to emphasise with his objectives.

Unfortunately emphasising with Langdon is a tad pointless when the plot is so unnecessarily confusing. How many twists can a two hour movie have? Way too many in this case. And it’s to the determent of the movie as it becomes almost impossible to work out what everyone’s true character motivation is until the last 20 or so minutes.

Nonetheless, I very much enjoyed Felicity Jones’ performance. Her character isn’t the usual female sidekick that we’re usually exposed to in these male dominated movies; and she more than holds her own when she’s up against Hanks.

While I do think this film is far more successful in its storytelling than The Da Vinci Code, it doesn’t come close to the (admittedly moderate) heights of Angels and Demons. A middling movie in every sense of the word.

Overall Score:

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