Tom Hanks is one of the best actors of all time. He’s such a likeable presence on screen and off camera that it’s impossible not to like him. The Robert Langdon series have always been a bit of an oddity. The books are great suspenseful thrillers, but for some reason the screen adaptations have been having a hard time getting a good response from critics and audiences. I’ve personally enjoyed both Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons and I’ve read every book in the series, so going into Inferno I didn’t know what to expect.
The movie follows Robert Langdon, who awakens in a hospital in Florence, with no memory of what has happen to him in the last few days, but troubled by terrible visions of hell. He meets his doctor, a beautiful and intelligent woman named Cienna, who helps him escape after somebody tries to assassinate him. Together, they must race against time to stop a plague and find the connection between Dante’s Inferno, before half of the population gets whipped out…
Right off the bat, I can say that this is not a great movie, but it’s not terrible. It’s perfectly a watchable cable movie and while the movie did drag at times, I was never fully bored and that’s mostly due to Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones great chemistry. These two actors we’re by far the best part of this movie. You can tell that they’re giving it their all with the material that they are given. The entire cast is actually pretty solid. Omar Sy, although not in the movie a lot, delivers a really good performance and I’ve liked him ever since I saw him in the French film The Untouchables. Ben Foster was also good as the villain with a good motivation behind his actions and while his plan is a bit silly and it does get a bit contrived and over the top, you can always understand why he wants to do the things he does and those are the scariest types of villains, the ones who are convinced that they’re the good guys. Also the scenery in this movie is incredible. The city of Florence (which I’ve been too) looks just beautiful and Europe in general looks amazing in this film. The cinematography is just breathtaking to look out and every city is like a character in the film.
The problems of this film lie mostly in the direction by Ron Howard and the script by David Koepp. It’s very jarring, and the story keeps jumping all over the place. Robert Langdon keeps having these visions of the end of the world and since he has amnesia he can’t remember why he is in Florence, so when he starts picking up clues you’re supposed to be along for the ride, but the script doesn’t do a good job off keeping you in the loop and the plot really starts to get convoluted, especially in the third act (no spoilers here, don’t worry). Although I liked where they took certain plot points, it’s really farfetched and while it happens in the book, Dan Brown does a better job of It’s also incredibly redundant and it’s the same three act structures as the other two films previous and while the books are also similar in structure, Dan Brown’s writing keeps you on the edge of your seat. The script is nothing special here and it feels like it’s going through the motions as you’re watching it, despite all of the actors trying their best.
Overall, Inferno is a perfectly watchable cable movie. Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones both give terrific performances but the script and Ron Howard’s direction keeps Inferno from being a great film too being a rather paint by the numbers, forgettable one.