Tom Hanks wants to set the box office on fire with Inferno, but
he needs a bigger flame thrower.
Hanks is back as Robert Langdon – the Da Vinci Code’s
Harvard professor of symbology who finds himself waking up in a
hospital in Florence, Italy. He can’t remember the past few days,
and he is plagued by horrifying hallucinations, but the doctor on call,
Sienna (Felicity Jones), is a big fan so she springs into action to
help Langdon when an assassin (Ana Ularu) shows up to finish the job.
The two end up on the run to avoid being captured by evil guys, that
persistent assassin, and the World Health Organization as Langdon and
Sienna try to solve a puzzle to stop a madman from unleashing a
world-wide virus that will kill off half of humanity (this guy might as
well be a Bond villain with the elaborate plot and ample opportunity
for our hero to put the kibosh on it).
Inferno was so boring it had me hoping Hanks
might grow back that infamous Da Vinci Code mullet to spice
things up. Maybe it could have been included in a flashback?
Sadly, director Ron Howard and writer David Koepp (based on the novel
by Dan Brown) never let the audience play along with the mystery.
Instead of letting us gather clues and use this knowledge to figure out
what will happen next, Inferno is written in a way where stuff just
happens and Langdon drops knowledge out of nowhere, so he can make some
excited exclamation about how they need to go to Venice based on this
obscure marking on a painting or sculpture from the 13th century that
you have never heard of.
Inferno isn’t full of enough action to
offset the lack of mystery, so the audience gets to feel like they are
watching a game of Jeopardy where we know none of the answers, but want
to stick around until the end to see who wins.
Howard and the editing team add some visual flair as we see
Langdon’s horrifying visions and flashbacks to the past our
professor might have experienced or might have imagined. It helps add
some excitement and challenges Hanks to act as if he is in shocking
pain physically and emotionally.
Koepp doesn’t do much with the dialogue to help either. Poor
Irrfan Khan is supposed to be playing a very evil, scary dude, but is
stuck with absurd, ridiculous dialogue that fits much better in a
comedy or a parody. I hope he had fun (and was paid handsomely) because
his character is almost meaningless. The only positive about this
character was how his scenes made the audience laugh, which woke up the
guy sitting in front of me who was snoring louder than a grizzly bear.
Worst of all, the audience is treated to a love story out of nowhere
tossed in like an afterthought, which does nothing but make the pain of
Inferno last longer.
is rated PG-13 for sequences of action
and violence, disturbing images, some language, thematic elements and