Sunday, October 30, 2016

[Review] Inferno

Holy smokes! Not even Tom Hanks can salvage Inferno--the third piece of the Ron Howard-directed Da Vinci Code trilogy. This historical-religious conspiracy thriller is not only convoluted, but it's also relentlessly boring.

Professor Langdon (Hanks, taking a break from his Captain duties) wakes up dazed with amnesia in a hospital in Florence, Italy. There, he meets the extremely enlightened Dr. Sienna (Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything) and the two abruptly team up in order to foil a population control plot of billionaire Doomsday theorist (Ben Foster), who plans to unleash biological warfare.

The cast are fine with what they're given to work with. Felicity Jones continues to be a magnetic screen presence, but I couldn't help but just look forward to her leading role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Tom Hanks makes the best of the confounding material. His most charming moment comes when he politely asks for a cup of coffee after learning that assassins are on his trail.

But the film is essentially one long, windy, sigh-inducing chase--burdened by muddled sections of exposition and scenes of people staring at symbols. The narrative is painstakingly chopped with disorienting memory flashes and hellish hallucinations. It's puzzling, but not intriguing. Cryptic, but not gripping. And the setups aren't compelling enough to give the bag of twists any power.

Inferno is such a slog that you might find yourself drifting off into your own purgatory.

( 4/10 )

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