After waking up in Italy with amnesia, Robert Langdon soon learns
that he may be the only one who can stop a plague from being released.
Directed by Ron Howard
Written by David Koepp
Starring Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy,
Irrfan Khan, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster
Sequel to 2009's Angels & Demons
Based on the novel by Dan Brown
Even though the entire franchise has been universally panned by critics and audiences alike, I have always been a fan of both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. I thought they were both well-crafted thrillers with a painful barb aimed at the Catholic Church. Inferno, however, throws away the suspense, the religious undertones, and even most of the ancient symbolism. It opts instead to focus on global population issues and terrorism, focusing only briefly on the maps and puzzles that made the first two so engaging. It's this sudden change in tone and subject matter that causes Inferno to fail both as a sequel and as an action thriller.
For once, the character of Robert Langdon is actually inconsequential to the plot. His symbology credentials have nothing to do with the movie and the only reason he seems to be here is to connect it with the first two films. Tom Hanks seems bored and unfocused, like he'd rather be doing something else. The supporting cast are all forgettable and interchangeable. The so-called twist is easy to spot from a mile away and even though humanity's future is on the line, the stakes don't seem as high as they used to be. There's very little puzzle-solving compared to the first two and the action sequences are stale. In the end, it barely feels like part of the same franchise.
I have to agree with the critics in this instance. Inferno is a predictable and lackluster adaptation that doesn't hold up in the slightest. It's almost like it's trying too hard to be its own thing, separate from the rest of the franchise. This attempt at standing out is most likely going to backfire and kill the franchise that was barely holding itself together in the first place. With Dan Brown planning another Langdon adventure, maybe Ron Howard will get a chance to redeem himself in the near future. But until then, I consider myself disappointed.