HOLLYWOOD—“The Davinci Code” was a worldwide phenomenon when the book first arrived for Americans to decipher. Soon thereafter we saw the film adaptation starring Tom Hanks which was fun. However, I thought its sequel “Angels & Demons” was a complete revelation.
The third chapter in the saga, “Inferno” has arrived, but it is no masterpiece compared to its predecessors. Hanks returns as Professor Langdon who finds himself on a bit of a memory lapse after waking up in a hospital in Florence, Italy.
Like most mysteries, this film relies on fuzzy flashbacks to deliver clues to the audience and our protagonist who finds an ally in Dr. Sienna Brookes (Felicity Jones) who helps him decipher the mystery behind Dante’s ‘Inferno.’ The problem with the movie in my personal opinion is the chemistry between Hanks and Jones, not that they’re expected to be romantic lovers, but they don’t mesh well in my opinion and that distracts from the narrative.
Like “Angels & Demons” and “The Da Vinci Code” this third installment is like a treasure hunt that finds Langdon in a quest to prevent a deadly virus from being unleashed onto the world. The duo finds themselves being chased by ruthless assassins from the Church looking to prevent him from altering their master plan. As a fan of the previous installment, “Inferno” is frustrating as the narrative moves quite slow at times, and with a notable director in Ron Howard behind the camera (he helmed the first 2 movies as well), one would suspect a stronger narrative prowess, character development and overall punch from a franchise that has an engrained fan-base.
Those things are missing here, and because of that a movie that has potential comes across jumbled, a bit messy and not cohesively as strong as it could be. Hanks just looks exhausted running around, and Jones is completely miscast in my opinion. While a stellar actress, I constantly questioned what her endgame in the movie was. Yes, there are a few twists here and there that are thrown at the audience in hopes of keeping them on their toes, but if you look closely at the movie, those twists aren’t really twist in the long run.
I kept asking myself why such a delay from “Angels & Demons,” to this third chapter in the franchise. I now know the answer: the script was weak, and there wasn’t too much more story to tell that would keep the audience guessing, wondering or even caring about what would happen next. It’s a shame when such riveting talent like Hanks, Jones and Howard is wasted in a thriller that barely delivers the thrills people. “Inferno” might be on fire, but it’s on fire for all the wrong reasons.