The latest case of sequelitis to spread through movie theaters in 2016 proves that not even the most beloved and talented Hollywood figures like Tom Hanks and Director Ron Howard are impervious to the film follow-up blues that have plagued cinemas this calendar year. Speaking of plagues, that is the focus of the third installment in the Dan Brown film saga Inferno starring Tom Hanks as the brilliant problem solving Robert Langdon who must stop a global apocalypse by solving the clues left by a crazy billionaire (Ben Foster) who sets this disastrous plan in motion before his death. Inferno is the same gimmick from before, but only much less entertaining than the past two entries in the series.
One of the biggest problems with Inferno is its method of story telling in which Director Ron Howard takes his inspiration from Christopher Nolan’s Memento. Langdon is left with amnesia for a good part of the film trying to glue the bits and pieces of his memories together like a broken vase. Having Langdon lose his incredible problem solving skills in favor of him squinting and having flashes as to what happened in his mind completely takes the fun out of famous symbologist. So much is unexplained in Inferno and when the twist does come it makes zero sense due to the lack of back story.
Inferno is down right silly and what’s worse is there is over thirty minutes left to go once the disappointing mystery is revealed in this lackluster threequel. The cast on paper looks to a be a winner with “It Girl” Felicity Jones paired with Oscar winner Hanks and the severely underrated Ben Foster as manic Billionaire Betrand Zobrist. Unfortunately, the stars are stuck in this boring tale with nothing to do, but ride it out until unbelievable ending, which will have you questioning the motives of everyone involved. This has to be one of Hanks’ most underwhelming performances of his career.
The other element sorely missing from Inferno is the religious aspects, which were such a fascinating driving force in the first two films whether you were believer or not . Foster’s Zobrist takes some of his inspiration from Dante’s Inferno, but that’s about it. Zobrist is more of 70s cheesy Bond villain rather than a foe who believes he’s defending the sanctity of the church, religion or the secrets of our past. The intentions of our players involved doesn’t make much sense, the action is generic and a good deal of Inferno‘s failure has to lay at the feet of director Ron Howard who mismanaged the film completely. After Inferno, it may be time for the good Dr. Langdon to retire from the big screen.
Overall, I give Inferno 1.75 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell