Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 5/10
Cast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ana Ularu, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, Ida Darvish.
If there was ever an example in the world of cinema of a truly superb idea being driven down the wrong street then unfortunately Inferno would have to be one of the most disappointing examples of them all.
Based on Dan Brown’s novel of the same name and with the return of the erstwhile Tom Hanks to the role of Robert Langdon, audiences might well have expected a ride worthy of one of its predecessors, the entertaining and thought provoking The Da vinci Code, a film that at least of not one to take too seriously at least had the temerity to believe in its big and bold statements on the screen. Audiences might have expected something of a similar vein, of a comparable disposition to one that went before, bravely taking on the cynics with its New York Times like allusion to puzzles and anagrams, yet underneath, as the plot of the film unravelled quicker than a short hop on the Tube between Southwark and Waterloo, this was a crossword perhaps set by a fairly less reliable source, one that wasn’t quite as demanding and completed in the blink of an eye.
No film wishing to be considered bullishly clever should show its hand too early, even suspending belief in full view of a captive audience, yet the clues to the betrayal, the full extent of the situation in Inferno are to be seen as half hearted at best and verging on the condescending at worst.
Whilst Tom Hanks is always incredibly watchable, even one of the true greats of modern cinema cannot hope to keep Inferno blasting out as if it was being pumped with the flames from Hell. The supporting cast are either not given the scope they deserve to truly make an impact, such is the case with the tremendous Omar Sy or they take up to much of the screen and somehow derail the point of the exercise completely, the unfortunate Felicity Jones being the prime example, a woman of incredible talent but to whom feels as if she has been placed in this film purely by accident, a conundrum in itself worth investigating by Robert Langdon.
The idea is there, Inferno should be at the very least a captivating film but it suffers underneath its own weight and it inflicts the misery and not much love onto the audience. Inferno, unlikely it could hold onto the fire for long!
Ian D. Hall