Code breaker Robert Langdon returns for his third onscreen outing. Previously dealing with the discovery of the Holy Grail and foiling a terrorist act against the Vatican, this time, he is against the clock to foil a deadly attempt to destroy the majority of Earth’s population. Tom Hanks returns as Langdon and continues to give a crowd pleasing performance for the third time, but it almost feels like this could be his last outing as the character. Yet again, Hanks is the only thing pulling the film along, much like the previous outing in Angels & Demons. A strong supporting cast was evident in The Da Vinci Code, Paul Bettany and Ian McKellen proved vital in keeping the story alive when Hanks was off-screen. Angels & Demons struggled to keep me interested as the supporting cast and story line wasn’t quite up to scratch. Additionally, I thought it was an average effort by film maker Ron Howard. Inferno improved on the last outing by getting a broader supporting cast and including faces that are big hits at the moment. The inclusion of Ben Foster and Felicity Jones were brilliant at a glance. Foster’s very small screen time is a complete waste of his talents and ability. Whereas Felicity Jones just doesn’t give an interesting or charismatic performance at all.
Another returnee to the franchise is director Ron Howard. The American film maker has provided us with another lacklustre outing for Robert Langdon and personally, another shoddy effort at directing. Lazy in its efforts to even try and create atmosphere, tension or pacing, Inferno is for me, the nail in the coffin for the franchise. Howard is a long way from recreating the first film and if the series is to continue, he is to step aside. To cover such a brilliant storyline, Ron Howard should be delivering a film that will have me on the edge of my seat. Instead, I was catching myself falling asleep!
The main plot of the film is interesting. A storyline that initially got me interested to go and watch it opening night left me disappointed. Having a plot that has someone running against the clock to save the majority of the world’s population from a virus should be scintillatingly exciting. In stark contrast, Inferno is delivered to such a mediocre level that ultimately; you don’t care at all what happens. The lack of pacing throughout the film leaves you with no care in the world for any of the characters, even Robert Langdon!
Ultimately, Inferno is more of a tourist video for anyone wanting to go on holiday to Florence or Venice. Around 50% of the film is wide shots of two of Italy’s most beautiful cities. Admittedly, it makes the film pleasing to the eye, but then you remember that you’re watching a film to be entertained, not to buy a plane ticket to Italy. Inferno’s biggest problem for me is having Ben Foster portraying a character that is hardly seen or interacts with any of the main characters, apart from Felicity Jones. To have an actor of his calibre and not use it is criminal. Also, Tom Hanks does look like he is on his last legs as Robert Langdon. Hanks’ age is creeping up and it’s showing more and more throughout the franchise. But he does just about enough to give an average performance and save the film from becoming an absolute disaster. 2 out of 5 stars.