Inferno – A Movie Review

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infernoI love Tom Hanks. I’ve very much enjoyed the other two Robert Langdon movies – The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons – and the books on which these two films are based. I am ready to fall in love with Felicity Jones, Academy Award nominated for her role in The Theory of Everything and ready to break BIG in this winter’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I also have a warm space in my heart for director Ron Howard who typically makes watchable, enjoyable movies.

And Inferno is just that: a watchable, enjoyable movie with a star I like, a rising star I am ready to embrace, and a character I’ve followed for years. Inferno doesn’t feel so much a sequel to Angels and Demons as it does a new chapter featuring the Langdon character and that is both good and bad.

It’s good because it has been a long time since I saw the aforementioned movie and any deep dive into its backstory would have been something I wouldn’t have been ready for watching Inferno. However, it’s bad because some of what made the two earlier Langdon movies so fun was some of the very elements that are missing in Inferno.

Where the previous Langdon movies featured Tom Hanks in a primarily intellectual race against time, Inferno leans more towards a physical race against time. It hews more closely to action movie elements than I expected and, while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it was a shift that seemed a bit incongruous when compared to the other movies.

As an action movie, Inferno works well enough. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep an audience engaged and none of them served to take me out of the film. A few were inspired and fun to watch unfold. Hanks may be out of the mold of the typical action hero, and he doesn’t really mix it up here. What he does do is run. A lot. He runs from city to city, from museum to mosque. He runs until he’s out of breath and the audience is left gasping as well. That’s good mojo for a movie like this.

Inferno does something interesting with Langdon by saddling him with short term memory loss as the film begins. Langdon has been wounded and doesn’t remember where he is or what he is doing. He wakes in confusion and spends much of the movie fighting his way through it.

The audience does, too. And that confusion is not satisfactorily cleared up by the end of the movie. There is a character introduced and then dropped, never to be revisited. The lack of resolution with this character and his storyline leads me to believe better editing could have resulted in a better film.

The is no issue with the performances. Hanks is very good as Langdon (and it’s hard to believe he also played “Sully” Sullenberger in Sully earlier this fall). Jones is also excellent in the film and a great foil for Hanks. Irrfan Khan all but steals the movie as a shady operative called Simms with clever dialogue balanced by clever plot twists. He’s really enjoyable in the movie. He might be the best thing about it.

Inferno is a perfectly acceptable movie and a fun way to spend a few hours. My affection for Langdon as a character and Hanks as an actor probably influences my rating and, perhaps, Inferno is more of a 3 than a 3.5, but it’s my blog!



1 Comment

Filed under Movie Review, Tom Hanks

One response to “Inferno – A Movie Review

  1. Pingback: Arrival – A Movie Review | And There Came a Day...

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