Inferno (2016)

4:42 PM

Every Clue will Take Him Deeper
 Inferno is directed by Ron Howard (In the Heart of the Sea, The Da Vinci Code) and stars Tom Hanks (Toy Story, Captain Phillips) and Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Like Crazy). "When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot". The third chapter in the Dan Brown series - the other two were not well received, is it third time lucky for the franchise?

It is probably important to note that I went in thinking this film was going to be absolutely terrible - initial reviews have been weak and I really wasn't a fan of The Da Vinci Code. Honestly, Inferno really isn't that bad, by no means is it a good movie but I would say it is mostly average and I was pretty surprised by that. That's at face value. If you actually dive deeper into the story, the twist was very predictable and a lot of the occurrences that happened early on were pretty unnecessary and irrelevant. I wouldn't recommend you see this until you are a big fan of the previous instalments, there are much better things out right now that you could see instead. 

The plot is definitely the weakest part of the film. At first, I was actually pretty interested and captivated by the set up as the idea of how quickly the human race is going to grow was pretty shocking yet fascinating and I thought the characters that came up with a solution to this actually came up with something that had pretty high stakes. However, not enough was does with this to keep the stakes high throughout the film - the particles that would lead to the disease were not really mentioned until the third act, it wasn't extremely clear what the characters were looking for. This must be something to do with how the book was adapted as surely a best seller couldn't have such a muddled plot line? Thrillers are actually one of my favourite genres but even though there was quite a lot of tension towards the beginning of the film, looking back a lot of this was false tension and many of the elements that caused the tense atmosphere were irrelevant. For example, the flashes to the demonic world and all of the freaky people was horrible to watch but ultimately, it added nothing to the plot and it really didn't make sense why Robert (Hanks) was having these flashes as they were not of reality at all. Most of the film's $75 million budget was probably spent on these scenes and really they weren't needed and were just devices to make this otherwise boring film a thrilling one. I thought Inferno was generally quite a fast paced film until the third act - the film reaches its climax and then comes to a halt with slow scenes filled with dialogue that the audience really doesn't care about. The final sequence could have been much more thrilling and entertaining if all the tension and intrigue wasn't ruined by such a random and unnecessary halt in pace. The whole set up from the trailers and plot description is that Robert has to find clues to find something but I really didn't get a mystery vibe from this film at all - there was no mystery. 

SPOILERS - So lets talk about the twist. I was actually quite pleased with myself as I called the twist within 5 minutes of the film. I mentioned it to my friend who I was watching the film with and they didn't think it was going to happen but it actually felt so good when it ended up happening and I was right. However, that obviously means that this twist was way too predictable and generic. The fact that Sienna (Jones) is not as good as she seems was clear from a mile off - why was she so concerned about being on the run with Robert?- she didn't know him so she clearly had other intentions. Also, the character was way too in-the-know and clever to just be a sidekick. At least the twist was realistic, it's just a shame it wasn't executed very clearly and was right in front of the audience- it's really not hard to miss. 

The performances in the film were really nothing special. It's unusual that an actor who has played the role for three films can come across as miscast but I do not think Tom Hanks is the right fit for the character of Robert. He really brings nothing to the role and puts on quite a one dimensional performance. This is mainly due to Hanks not having anything to work with as we all know how talented of an actor he is. Another talented actor who doesn't showcase said talent in this film is Felicity Jones who is just simply ok in this film. She is forgettable and brings nothing to the table. The difference between Hanks and Jones is that Jones was actually given something interesting to work with - she is at the heart of one of the major twists. Jones doesn't come across as a bad-ass villainess which she could have easily been, instead she comes across as a boy crazy brainwashed female who will do anything to please her lover (even if said lover is not alive so she is finishing his job). The supporting cast are pretty weak...the performances in Inferno are definitely not worth raving about. 

Inferno has quite an in-your-face soundtrack but I really thought that it got in the way of the film and came across as quite manipulative. The score would start creating quite a tense atmosphere in a scene that would not be tense otherwise. For example, if you muted the big finale sequence, it would not be entraining or tense but the score tricks you into thinking it is. That could suggest that the score is actually pretty good as it creates tones and atmospheres but it was pretty manipulative. 

Inferno is an average film across the board - average story, average acting and average cinematography - there is nothing memorable or remarkable here. The one thing I will remember about Inferno is how easy it was to guess the major twist. Inferno's biggest flaw is the writing, I haven't read the book it is based on but I doubt it does it justice. Hanks tries with what he has and Jones really doesn't do the best she could have done. The soundtrack does the film more favours than the writing or acting. In the film's defence though, it is generally pretty entertaining and the set up is pretty thought provoking. Inferno will probably please fans of the previous two Dan Brown flicks but otherwise I don't think it's going to bring in many new fans. 



54
/100

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