Considering the amount of hype that came with the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, promotions for the Inferno film were relatively subdued. I only knew it was coming out because a friend told me about it. Are audiences finally getting tired of Robert Langdon?
For those who aren’t familiar with the titles, DVC, A&D and Inferno are all books by Dan Brown, revolving around protagonist Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor who often gets himself into sticky situations involving religious fanatics. The plot usually kicks off with Langdon becoming embroiled in a crisis that requires his expertise in symbology and history, and being pursued by assailants as he tries to save lives/put a stop to some catastrophe. Sort of like a modern day Indiana Jones, but more academic and with no horse whip.
What makes Inferno slightly different is that it crosses the boundary between historical/thriller to fantasy/sci-fi.
Harvard professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy with no memory of what has happened in the past 48 hours, but with visions of a Hell-like Earth. The doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) tells him that he has short-term amnesia from a bullet wound. A female assassin shows up at the hospital and attempts to barge into the room after shooting an attendant. Brooks helps Langdon out and they flee to her apartment.
While rummaging through Langdon’s belongings, the pair find an image projector with a modified version of Sandro Botticelli’s Map of Hell, based on Dante’s Inferno. They realize that it is a clue left by Bertrand Zobrist, a billionaire geneticist who believed that extreme measures should be taken to reduce the Earth’s growing population. He had committed suicide earlier after being chased by armed agents.
Chasing a trail of clues, they discover that Zobrist has created a virus called Inferno that could decimate the world’s population. Paranoid and with no clue on whom to trust, they evade law enforcement, assassins and the World Health Organization, (led by Langdon’s old friend Elizabeth Sinskey), journeying across various locations in Florence and Venice in a race against time to save the world.
Can you believe it has already been 10 years since Da Vinci Code first came out? *damn i feel old*. Hanks continues to do an awesome job at portraying the smart and resourceful Langdon – and to be honest, I can’t imagine any other actor pulling off the character with such convincing poise.
Inferno isn’t the best film out of the series. For me, A&D was. I might be biased, since the book itself wasn’t my favourite either. The film is reasonably well-paced, with action and chase scenes interspersed with interesting insights into history and literature, which the series has become famous for. There are also a couple of plot twists at the end which are pretty good. (But then again I already know the story so xD)
But there are also some moments that seem to have been slotted in just to adhere to the book, but has no bearing to the movie at all. One such scene is Langdon’s hallucination of his friend Ignazio Busoni, who was helping Langdon before he lost his memory – we never really find out what happened to Busoni.
Imo, watch it just for the beautiful shots of Florence, Venice, and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. And for Langdon’s charisma, of course.
PS: The ending is different from the book. Not necessarily a bad thing. I liked the movie ending better than the book one.