Inferno : follows up from Ron Howard’s previous two in the series – The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons – proclaiming that Inferno will be “his greatest challenge.” For many this is referencing Robert Langdon, the protagonist in the trilogy, but I believe it is implying the great difficulty Howard had transferring content from the novel (by the same name) onto the big screen. And still making it enjoyable.
Down to Business: One interesting trope the film carries is the opening sequence. Within minutes the villain – Zobrist (Ben Foster) – is introduced reciting his plan to an audience already establishing the plot alongside obstacles to overcome. Tom Hanks’ Robert Langdon is also stripped of his weapon – his brain – causing alarming hallucinations due to a head wound. As an opening, it holds a strong and distinct foundation for the film to continue with as our usually accomplished hero is left vulnerable and dependent on Felicity Jones’ Dr. Sienna Brooks. The doctor is coincidentally placed under the initial care of Langdon so they can bond over common hobbies such as a pleasant Dante obsession or being a perfectly normal child prodigy. Both characters are ridiculously intelligent so they like to ‘spell’ things out for the audience multiple times because, like the films beforehand, we are treated like bum-itching apes incapable of logically thinking.
Disco Dante: Dante seems like a pretty cool guy. He literally thought up the modern conception of Hell which has lasted for thousands of years. He’s also the guy that everyone in Florence seems to profoundly know about. So surely after Langdon and Co vandalize many of his famous art pieces (and steal his Death Mask), he should be responsible for his crimes? Nope. They continue searching for clues whilst being pursued by assassins from two different organizations. Throwing in a bioweapon and chase sequences, one would think the next James Bond was Tom Hanks. This sixty-year-old actor is more than capable of escaping drones and dodging bullets. Sure I can see that Ron Howard is adding instances of excitement and tension, but we want more puzzles to be solved! There was a lot less than the previous films.
Snoozeville. During many points in the film, it just feels dull. Something may have ended or we’ve hit some down time makes the tone of the film completely change. This feels really jarring. Not even Hans Zimmer (who did a stupendous soundtrack for the previous two) could muster up a remotely ‘vivid’ soundtrack for Inferno. With all of the false excitement and the possibility of destruction, it can’t help but feel too hyped up. Screaming and shouting “his greatest challenge” and “The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons were just the beginning” makes Inferno feel underwhelming.
The Novel. Narrowly avoiding spoilers here. The ending of Inferno is entirely different to the book. Fans of the book are sure to be extremely disappointed when they see the alterations made to the film version. That being said, Inferno is an interesting and moderately interesting storyline with good acting alongside a poorly written script.