Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code was a worldwide bestseller putting his thriller writing on the map. The novel, that followed Angels and Demons, features his American symbolist Robert Langdon and the author continued his series with The Lost Symbol and Inferno revolving around the same central character. With the first two novels already making their way to the big screen another adaptation was always on the horizon.
The third instalment in the Dan Brown/Ron Howard franchise Inferno sees Tom Hanks return as Langdon solving an ancient puzzle against the clock. Whereas the previous films had the page turning pace of the books sadly Inferno lacks the narrative and speed needed to make the predictable plot interesting to an audience.
This time round Langdon (Hanks) wakes up in a Florence hospital with no memory of the previous few days. When an assassin arrives to kill him, he is helped by a young doctor Sienna (Felicity Jones) to escape and piece together his time in Italy. Together the two are charged with solving the location to Inferno as n epidemic plague that threatens to wipe out half the population.
The “Robert Langdon” series written by Brown includes four novels with The Lost Symbol being the only one not adapted for the screen yet. So far Hanks has starred in all the adaptations as Langdon with Ron Howard of Apollo 13 fame as the director.
It feels safe to say that both director and star have grown board of the franchise. The direction of the film is choppy and lacklustre at best and even Hanks and Jones’ charisma and talent cannot give this film the boost it desperately needs
The film follows the same basic patterns of the series. Langdon stumbles upon an ancient riddle and must solve it before the bad guys do. In this the film is sadly predictable. Yet audiences, at least, usually have the mystery riddle element to keep them entertained.
The major issue with this film, apart from the director and cast’s lack of interest, is it lacks the hook of the previous films. The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons had the books mystery and riddle elements. Robert Langdon was given puzzles which the audience enjoyed watching him solve. The use of ancient locations and mythology added to the films appeals but Inferno has sadly missed this part.
Fans of the book will also no doubtable be disappointed with changes made in this adaptation. The big finale is a complete change from the book and feels like a boring and safe studio option. The film also has the stupidest tag line which makes the posters unbearable. The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons were just the beginning. Yeah, they were the first two films, that’s how trilogy’s work.
Tom Hanks may have been a strong cast decision for the intelligent and charismatic Langdon but he feel sick and tired of the role. The role lacks the usual passion and emotion that Hanks brings to a film.
Felicity Jones just feels wasted here. Her characters arc is very predicable and her motivations are never really established making her a unnecessary presence. May her up-and-coming role in the first Star Wars spin off film show her talent in full swing.
A boring and lacklustre additions to the Robert Langdon series. Despite talent on and behind screen the film lacks the hook and pace of its novel and previous entries.
Inferno is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!