Inferno (12A)

Ron Howard's Robert Langdon trilogy comes to a close with Inferno - did it set the world on fire, or was it a damp squib? Ashley Clay went to find out.

24th October 2016

The third film adaptation of Dan Brown’s ‘Robert Langdon’ series, Inferno, recalls how a deadly virus must be stopped within 24 hours or else it will wipe out 95% of the world’s population.

Unfortunately for the planet, Langdon suffers from a mysterious head injury and so his ability to solve essential and extremely challenging puzzles in order to find the source of the virus is initially prevented.

Due to this he requires the help of others, namely Felicity Jones’ heroine, Sienna Brooks. Jones’ portrayal of the complex doctor is strong and very true to the novel, so her performance stands out more so than Tom Hanks’ previous co-stars in the film series.

"Despite being only just over two hours long, the film dragged"

The plot is somehow both layered with complexities and depth, yet still groaningly predictable with obvious elements throughout. This is not a film where you’re constantly guessing who the ‘bad guy’ is, which ruins some of the compelling mystery you know you should be feeling during the film. Despite being only just over two hours long, the film dragged on, with the only salvation being the climatic ending, made even more compelling by Hans Zimmer’s brilliant score. Something to note for fans of the book, however, is that the ending is very different!

Within the Dan Brown trilogy of films, Inferno is arguably the weakest. Langdon’s head injury seems like a cop out in order to complicate and drag out the 24-hour plot. Ron Howard’s direction, however, stands out, particularly the way in which he depicts visions of Hell. Additionally, the cinematography showcases some stunning scenery, with the globe-trotting sights including Venice, Florence and Istanbul. These extra spectacles, in addition to the strong cast, nonetheless do not compensate for the overall lackluster film compared to the novel.

Here’s hoping the upcoming television series of Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress will be better!

Rating: 5/10

More like this: Left Behind (2014)

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