Sunday, 16 October 2016

'Inferno' Review

Ron Howard and Tom Hanks return to continue the Robert Langdon series with 'Inferno'. Another adaptation of Dan Brown's series of books, the previous installments have been panned by critics despite financial success, 'The Da Vinci Code' even gained Ron Howard a Razzie nomination for Worst Director. The series hasn't exactly set the world on fire but with 'Inferno', Ron Howard certainly looks to do so. 7 years after the previous film in the series (Angels & Demons), the series still hasn't been able to find its feet in yet another disappointing installment.

Robert Langdon (Tom Hank) wakes up in a Venice hospital where his doctor Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) helps him escape from an assassin. Langdon's memory is lost and with the help of Sienna, he looks to gain it back. Billionaire Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) has come up with a plague that will wipe out half of the world's population to help with overcrowding. He is found dead before he can set it off leaving Langdon to rush across Europe to find clues before the plague is set off in a race against time.

The film starts off with Ben Foster giving a talk about over population that distorts the sound and visuals. Once he has finished and is suddenly on the run. It seemed to be a good start as they created a charismatic figure with a decent chase scene through Venice. And then he's killed off. Now that would be a spoiler if they didn't show it in the trailer or if they had him be alive for more than five minutes. After that, it is all downhill.

The story is a complete mess. The intentions and motivations are not clear from everyone so it just seems as if there is a witch hunt for no apparent reason. The authorities, a secret service, and an assassin are all looking for Langdon with no real reasoning behind it. This allows the film to use many twists that seem to go against what the characters want to achieve which was baffling to see unfold. Those who looked to help only seemed to create more barriers for our hero to get through. It also unfolds that Zobrist had the help from someone but didn't include them in the process of carrying out the attack. Now this seems very far fetched as if you were planning something so deadly and had help along the way, why would you not include them just in case something were to happen? Oh, just so the film can actually happen. At first, this seems like a good twist but then it is so mind numbingly stupid that you cannot believe that it has actually happened. The premise is intriguing and should be thrilling as Langdon searches for clues to find the location of this weapon. Throw in the mythology with Dante and you have something that should intrigue a large audience. Unfortunately, it isn't handled well and falls flat on its face.

There are so many aspects of this film that are so frustrating as they are clearly just fitted into the story so that it can progress. The most evident part of this is the security involved in every scene. It's laughable at how bad they are at their jobs in this film to the point where it is far too unrealistic to take seriously. The finale is possibly the worst as nobody realizes this large weapon in the water that must have been lying there for at least a good week or so. The film really isn't clever with these moments and makes you think about what else they could blatantly get away with. It's hard to get behind a film that is so predictable and has it stakes taken out due to some odd coincidence at every turn. 

Ron Howard uses a lot of montages in this film and not to good effect. They are very unnecessary and don't show anything that worthwhile. Howard looks to be artistic with these but it just seems to be style over substance as they fail to make any impact on the film. What Howard does do is revel in the opportunity to film in these beautiful locations. Along with cinematographer Salvatore Totino, the locations are made to look marvelous and is one of the few shining aspects of the film. However, due to the film lacking in quality, all it makes you think is "That would be a nice place to visit sometime".

I'm a fan of Tom Hanks and he is an instantly likable character which does make him bearable in this film. This certainly isn't a memorable performance from one of Hollywood's finest but it isn't terrible in any case, He doesn't have much to work with in all honesty but Hanks charisma does pull through in the end which does make the film slightly more bearable, Felicity Jones does fairly well as well but I think we are all hoping that her next film is a lot better than this one. I wish there was more of Ben Foster in this film especially after how good he was in 'Hell or High Water' but unfortunately, he had very little screen time. Irfan Khan appears in the movie and provides a few laughs that were slightly out of place but in a film as poor in this, you'll take any moments of enjoyment that you can.

Overall, there is very little good about this movie. The acting is ok with some nice scenery and that's about it. A very poorly constructed story from an acclaimed director was very surprising and overall disappointing. Not that thrilling, 'Inferno' isn't one that you should be wasting your time or money with. I hoped that it would be a while before I seen a film worse than 'The Girl on the Train' but it only took a week! 

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Inferno'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie! Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor