Director: Ron Howard
Running Time: 2 hours, 1 minutes
"Inferno" is the third installment in the Robert Langdon series of book-to-film adaptations. This latest movie is once again directed by Ron Howard and is based on the Dan Brown novel of the same name, though "Inferno" is actually the fourth book in Brown's Langdon series. Tom Hanks returns to reprise his role as symbologist Robert Langdon, who begins this film by waking up in a hospital with an apparent head trauma. He has no memory of the last few days, but has been getting terrifying visions and foggy, jagged flashbacks. An Italian police officer suddenly shows up looking to kill Robert, and he is aided by his attending physician Dr. Brooks, played by Felicity Jones. Langdon must unravel a puzzle surrounding Dante's Inferno that leads to the location of a plague developed by billionaire Bertrand Zorbist, played by Ben Foster, which he hopes to use to wipe out 90% of the earth's population. Zorbist, like many maniacal movie villains, believes what he is doing is for the betterment of mankind. He thinks the only way to save the earth is to kill almost everyone on it in order to cause it pain. We have seen other villains in other films use this exact same reasoning, such as Ultron in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and Valentine in "Kingsman: The Secret Service."
This is a pretty typical, by-the-book Dan Brown adaptation, no pun intended. These films have a formula and they always follow it down to the tee. If you have seen the two previous films in the series and enjoyed them, chances are you will glean some sort of enjoyment from this picture as well. Furthermore, if you are a fan, there is also a chance you'll know what to expect, whether it be puzzles that are conveniently solved as needed by the plot, the arbitrary mistake that heads the protagonists to the wrong location, or the final twist and reveal of who the real villain is. All of this happens in the two previous films, and it happens again here. Brown and subsequently Howard don't mess with this formula, but it may be to their detriment. That being said, Ron Howard has made a concerted effort to increase the pacing of this installment. He also shortened its run time and added more action, which we appreciate, but I still found myself a little bored in the middle portion of the film, though BigJ says he personally never felt this way. The acting is serviceable overall, though the one standout is Irrfan Khan, who is given the most interesting character to work with and does an excellent job bringing his seedy character to life with an occasional moment of dark, comedic relief.
Overall, "Inferno" is another middle of the road mystery in a series full of middle of the road mysteries. All you'll find is more of the same here, but we hope this is the last time we have to expect more the same from Ron Howard and Dan Brown.
My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~20%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?