The combination of director Ron Howard and actor Tom Hanks reaches Film number 5 with the 3rd film of the Robert Langdon series, Inferno, based on the works on Dan Brown.
Waking up in a Florence hotel room, dazed and confused, Robert Langdon finds himself on another race against time in a historic city.
In Inferno we find Langdon trying to solve the mysterious work of billionaire Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), a genetic scientist who has been obsessed with the increasing human population on the planet and the risks that that will inevitably create. As a result, he has created the disease ‘Inferno’ that is soon to be released and will infect all of humanity within days.
The mystery this time sees focus on the works of Dante, the writer of the epic poem Inferno, and the paintings of Sandro Botticelli.
Ultimately the film lacks the historic mystery of The Da Vinci Code or the natural rhythm of Angels and Demons. However, it carries two of the best supporting performances in any of the three films, with the work of Felicity Jones and Ben Foster. Their work allows Hanks to take a small step backwards from entirely carrying the film in this one and that works well in delivery of an overall product, and therefore ironically Hanks’ best performance as the character of Langdon.
The direction of Howard in this series also takes an interesting shift with the flashbacks that Langdon is suffering through the film create opportunity for a more artistic and sinister set of moments. Some of the final scenes also allow composer Hans Zimmer to really cut loose.
One final point is the decisions made to stick with, and deviate from the storyline, warrant some thought at some point, but I’ll avoid this here for fear of any spoilers.
It’s a good solid thriller (albeit even more contrived that normal) in the traditions of the previous two. It’s nothing special, but the performances of Foster, Jones ,and Hanks, all make it worth a watch.