With Oscar Season just around the corner, finding movies in late October that are truly entertaining is a difficult feat. Tom Hanks’ newest film Inferno is the exception. Preceded by The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, this final piece to the movie trilogy could stand alone as its own story. This is the third film adaptation of a Dan Brown novel that Ron Howard has directed and his influence is clear: it is both well-shot and well-produced.
Brown’s novel spends a lot of time describing all of its glorious Italian locations, which results in a wonderful adapted viewing experience; the film features some of the most gorgeous destinations in the world. Howard’s film greatly benefits from showing these locations because it provides a wonderful backdrop for a film that features a handful of chase scenes.
The plot centers around the plans of megalomaniac and billionaire scientist Bertrand Zobrist who conspires to “save the earth” by unleashing a deadly virus to wipe out half of the world’s rapidly growing population.
It is up to Robert Langdon, a professor at Harvard, to solve the puzzle of where this deadly virus is hidden before it is exposed to the world… but first, Langdon has to figure out why he wakes up at a hospital in Florence, Italy, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head and no recollection of the past 48 hours. All he knows is that police and others are shooting at him and chasing after the mysterious item he found in his jacket. Oh, yeah—and in the meantime, he is tormented by the visions of Dante’s seventh level of Hell.
With the help of his doctor Felicity Jones (Sienna Brooks), Langdon uses his unrivaled puzzle-solving skills to crack yet another code. As this apocalyptic treasure hunt leads us around the world, new parties join the race, causing several unexpected turns of events that spice up the movie when it becomes too predictable or dull.
As the film comes to an expected climax, there seems to be a lack of urgency on screen, even though the film’s well-established premise is that if this virus gets out, half of the world’s population will die of a plague.
It is fair to say that this film is not for everyone, but if you can stick through the first twenty minutes of rough jump cuts and flashes to Dante’s seventh ring of Inferno, there will certainly be enough unexpected twists and turns to keep you interested in solving the latest Dan Brown mystery.