Review: Ron Howard’s ‘Inferno’ Barely Sizzles
“Inferno” has arrived as the third film in the “Da Vinci Code” series.
Tom Hanks returns to the “Da Vinci Code” franchise with “Inferno.” As the third in the series, this film puts Robert Langdon against a new world threat. After waking up in a hospital with amnesia, he’s joined by Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) to stop a apocalyptic global plot. With a puzzling journey ahead of them, does this adventure prove to be fulfilling?
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 2.5
There’s an interesting notion in this film that has some real world applicability. Fueled by the fear of overpopulation, the film’s antagonists seek to resolve the issue. By planning to unleash a virus, they hope to extinguish half the human population for the greater good. This premise had the potential for intrigue and depth, just not in this film.
I’ve enjoyed the “Da Vinci Code” films. They’ve piqued my interest through their enigmatic, historical plots. Unfortunately “Inferno” breaks the mold for which we’ve come to love. The stories themselves were disjointed and interdependent of one another. The historical significance of the antagonists’ intentions were very loosely based. This made the plot’s substance dry up pretty quick. To attempt to connect situations, they use a variety of random explanations that are either too simple or too much of a stretch. The cause for Robert Langdon’s hospitalization for example is an outlandish letdown.
There are some highlights of the film that come in short doses. The first act is fast-paced and provides potential for a fulfilling film. It’s met with a disappointing outcome but on its own, it’s a fun beginning. A lot of the film also finds visual splendor in diverse locations. Florence and Istanbul are just a few of the locations and they’re stunning as the cast explores them.
As expected, the seasoned cast performs adequately. Tom Hanks gave the performance I expected playing the character we’ve all come to know. I also felt that Felicity Jones worked well with the story surrounding her character. The chemistry between Hanks and Jones was off a bit due to the story, but nothing at the sake of their performances. Ben Foster also had a notable performance and in my opinion carried the most emotional weight. Despite sharing less screen time, Ben Foster was the most impactful of the cast.
Overall “Inferno” fell short where it counts in cinematics. The plot and character development are quite lacking. There are some redeeming features of the film in regards to location and cast. But things generally seem a bit simple and formulaic outside of the already disconnected elements.
Entertainment Value – 2.5
The length and scattered nature of the film had me disengaging from time to time. At some moments I even found myself wanting to doze off. I kept looking for correlating moments to lead towards consistency, but they were few and far between.
I found mild engagement as the action ensued, but there was no lasting appeal. Langdon briefly explores the connection to “Dante’s Inferno” but that fizzles out. The antagonists’ agenda supersedes the reference material like in the other films. Even though there was some potential, “Inferno” didn’t play out as I’d hoped.
Re-Watchability – 2
It was honestly difficult enough the first time through “Inferno.” It never achieved its potential of being a pivotal film in the series. If I have the urge to watch another Dan Brown adapted film, I’ll most likely avoid this one.
While some may enjoy the "Da Vinci Code" film series, I think even "Inferno" would seem lacking in that regard. There's a great cast and a few iconic locations, but things seem scattered overall.