Inferno is brought by the same actor and director combination of Tom Hanks and Ron Howard that brought us the runaway commercial hits (but critically ridiculed films) Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Treading along its predecessor’s footsteps, the films takes us through yet another tour of the museums and churches of Italy, making us wish we were down there in the streets of Venice, Paris, Florence and the Vatican (from the previous movies) instead of sitting in a theatre that is near empty. Don’t mistake this longing of ‘wanting to be there’ for a good film, it’s just that the cinematography and the locations are stunning to say the least.
As is the tradition, our protagonist, Robert Langdon, a professor and a genius, who deciphers patterns and symbols from ancient texts as if reading the texts from a five-year old’s social textbook, releases a stream of mythological jargon that is tough to keep up with. Though, in its defence, this third instalment, thankfully, has less of it. It is precisely what works for this film as it is much more simplified (and does not require a re-run to fully follow them :P) and tries to move a bit away from the hardcore conspiracy fiction of religious texts of the last two films.
The film has Langdon moving from pillar to post of museums and churches following clues and solving puzzles, like a treasure hunt, that is ultimately the key to saving the world. And to be honest, that is kind of stuff that I immensely enjoy. And to be fair, who doesn’t enjoy a treasure hunt? Except that these films have always bordered on the tone of being condescending to the point of being irritating, yet remaining entertaining (not for all though). Phew! That’s a paradox.
Overlooking over-the-top arrogance that these films project because of the needless flashbacks, cuts, lengthy dialogues and chopped screenplay writing, there is still enough going for this film simply because of its premise: Solve the clues and save the world.
The brightest point of these films has always been the presence of Tom Hanks. Accept it, we all fell in love with him from Forrest Gump and anything he does is pure gold (Yes, I know, I’m exaggerating, but at least his performances are always Gold! Damn I am a huge Tom Hanks fan). Of course there is Irrfan Khan in the film too and he plays a very important role in a Hollywood film for a change rather than just a blink and you miss appearance. He gives out a decent performance for his part. Also, for me, the surprising part of the film was noticing the name “Hans Zimmer” as credits rolled up. From the man who brought us that iconic background score of The Dark Knight, you cannot expect the music to be a let-down, and it doesn’t, as it fits and seams into the film enhancing it on the whole.
Inferno is not an edge of the seat thriller but has enough to keep you engaged. It is a bit two paced, as it does slow down a bit in the middle and demands your patience but picks up from there towards the end.
Overall, I’ll put this plainly. I have not read Dan Brown’s books. But I did like the previous two films and this one. Because I am a sucker for conspiracy theories minced and chopped with elements of following clues, solving codes, deciphering symbols and patterns. So if you have liked and enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, you are sure to like and be entertained by this film too but if you haven’t, then refrain from watching this one.
I’m going with 2.5/5 for this one
Rating: Probably a good time, if you are drunk