A decade has past since Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) hit the screen for his first adventure in the Da Vinci Code and he now returns for another go in the adaptation Inferno. From director Ron Howard based on the Dan Brown novel, “Inferno”, the fourth book in the series (yes, they skipped “The Lost Symbol”), is an exciting and intricate race against time that kept you intrigued throughout the pages, question is, can the movie adaptation match the cleverness?
Robert Langdon awakens in a hospital room in Florence, Italy, with no memory of what has transpired over the last few days and unexplained visions of human suffering. Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), the attending physician, tells him that he is suffering from amnesia as a result of a bullet wound to his head and asks if he can remember anything that might help them understand what happened. Langdon has little time to process his thoughts as an assassin arrives to complete her mission. Sienna helps Langdon escape and the chase begins. The two arrive in Sienna’s apartment where they find Faraday pointer among Langdon’s personal belongings with projection of Botticelli’s Map of Hell.
They discover that the map is part of a mystery left by billionaire geneticist Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), who believes that the world is destined for over population and the extinction of the human race. Discovering that Zobrist had recently killed himself, Langdon concludes that there is a reason for this map to be in his possession and the two find a hidden message within. Langdon’s knowledge of Dante’s work allows the two to follow clues thru Florence and Venice, while evading the assassin and the authorities, including the WHO, whom have a keen interest in Langdon. Sienna and Langdon have less than 24 hours to decipher friend from foe and collect all the information they need to help them stop a global event that will change the human race forever.
Inferno is a fun movie with beautiful cinematography, but the film version falls short of the excitement that made the book so enjoyable, opting for unimaginative plot changes which will leave fans shaking their heads. Tom Hanks isn’t as crisp and confident in his portrayal of Langdon this go around, but the added vulnerability to the character allows Hanks to explore a more emotional side to his character which keeps this version of Langdon from feeling like a retread of the previous films. Felicity Jones’ Sienna Brooks is a far cry from the book version which had so many wonderful layers to her. Jones isn’t to blame for this, but what she is provided isn’t very interesting nor is her chemistry with Hanks. Most of the blame for the character development falls strictly on screenwriter David Koepp and director Ron Howard who ultimately opted for this watered down version of a film.
Overall, Inferno is a struggle for fans of the novel, but a fun movie that will entertain. If nothing else, the film will allow fans of the franchise to see their favorite professor in action one more time, which is worth the price of admission.
3 out of 5