Tom Hanks has found his way into theaters yet again with the release of “Inferno” this past weekend. Directed by Ron Howard and based on another book by Dan Brown, Inferno is the disappointing third film in “The Da Vinci Code” series.
“Inferno” returns viewers to the life of Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), the protagonist from “The Da Vinci Code.” Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy, still recovering from a head trauma, and unable to remember anything that has happened to him in the past 48 hours.
After escaping someone sent to kill him in the hospital, Langdon finds himself inadvertently partnered up with the doctor who saved his life and is a fan of his work, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones). Brooks and Langdon find a faraday pointer (a device that can project an image) in his possession, which contains a depiction of Dante’s levels of hell.
Soon they discover that this clue was left by American billionaire Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), a geneticist who believed the world was too overpopulated, so he created a virus meant to extinguish most of the human race. Zobrist committed suicide in the beginning of the film, but left clues behind so his virus could be activated.
Langdon and Brooks find themselves on a wild hunt throughout Italy on the search for the clues that could lead them to the virus. Followed by the World Health Organization and a sinister private security company, they are racing the clock to save the world before the virus is exposed.
The first aspect of the film that stuck out to me was the plot. Though it is fun in that it plays as a grown-up version of National Treasure, it does become wildly complicated. Along the way, many plot details are left behind, and several key elements of the story end up making no sense.
In one scene in particular, Langdon and Brooks arrive at the Florence town hall to investigate Dante’s Death Mask, believing it to be one of the clues. Upon arriving and being lead to the mask, they discover it has been stolen. I found it hard to believe that in this large, official building, not one person had noticed that a priceless antique had been stolen earlier. This was one of the many convenient plot holes throughout the film.
Through all the twists and turns of the film, it was hard to trust or sympathize with anyone. I was not completely sure who to root for and who to root against, and it all seemed to become one giant mess of a chase scene. None of the characters warranted much of an emotional response.
That being said, the film did have some positive aspects. Following a twist that I found to be totally shocking, the final scenes involved—you guessed it—a culminating chase scene within the labyrinth that is the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. It was the most high stakes, action-packed part of the movie. Though it may not have started with a bang, it certainly ended with one.
“Inferno” was a film full of conveniences. At almost every turn, the plot was often easily rerouted with an outlandish stretch of a scene. It certainly was an interesting puzzle to watch unfold, but it was far from Hanks’ best film.