Inferno (12A)

Eminent Harvard symbologist Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia. Little does he know that he’s about to embark on yet another adventure, one that will determine the fate of humanity.

No biggy then huh?

After the hospital Robert is staying in is surge he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones). She helps him put the pieces of his memory back together as they seek refuge from Robert’s enemies.

He has unknowingly become embroiled in a deadly global plot to ruthlessly reduce the number of people on earth with a deadly virus. What’s more he has the bullet graze on his head to prove it.

Robert must decode a mystery left by a maniacal visionary in order to save mankind. Brilliant yet utterly deranged scientist Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) plans to unleash a global plague that could wipe out the human race.

In a desperate bid to stop him, Robert races against time to solve a mystery that hinges on Dante’s 14th century vision of hell. Can the professor tackle the most extraordinary puzzle of his career?

Inferno was beaten by The Girl On The Train at the UK box office this week, and that movie sucked. It just goes to show how disappointing this last entry to Dan Brown’s trilogy is.

It’s been a long seven year wait for the third adaptation of a Dan Brown bestseller. Let’s recap the first two movies so you can understand how truly terrible Inferno is.

The Da Vinci Code showed us Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou running into dark rooms, pointing at things while we squinted and tried to figure out what was going off. They ran, stopped and explained the plot.

In Angels and Demons Hanks teamed up with Ayelet Zurer to run around the Vatican while explaining the plot. This time around the lights were kept on and we had the ridiculous parachuting pontiffs ending to reward us for sticking around for the car crash.

With Inferno director Ron Howard squeezes nine levels of hell into two hours and it’s shocking. Every single thought and action is explained in full, all the time and it’s utterly exhausting. It’s as though internal monologue never existed.

Example:

“They’ve got a gun.”
“What should we do?”
“Lets run away.”
“What next?”
“Lets get in this car.”
“Now what?”
“Let’s hide out at your apartment.”

For me the impending apocalypse could not come soon enough. The movie’s plot twist, which they announce all guns blazing,  will only surprise you if you sleep through the first two thirds of the film.

Tom Hanks constantly tells us throughout the movie that his head hurts, that he doesn’t know what’s going on. Neither do the audience. It’s a nauseating experience in part to the constant high-speed cat and mouse chase them embark on, but also because it’s just so terrible .

The storyline is Inferno’s MacGuffin, it acts as the movie’s crux, but is its major downfall. This movie may include works of art and magnificent religious building but it lacks substance. It’s intergalactically stupid.

By Ruth Walker

★☆☆☆☆

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