Inferno review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
With names such as Ron Howard, Tom Hanks and Hans Zimmer involved in a given project, naturally you would think their finished product would be at least decent, if not else. Regrettably, the latest Dan Brown adaptation is as uninventive as it can get, offering cheap thrills and fast-paced edits that make the whole experience feel more like rehashing a made-for-TV B movie tropes in place of well-structured visual cohesion and narrative progression. Usually I tend to avoid a certain comparative approach, but this time, the book is way better.
Inferno starts well (although chaotic), throwing Tom Hanks in Medias res while his character Langdon suffers from amnesia; naturally, he doesn’t recall how he ended up in a hospital, why he’s in the condition that he finds himself into and how on earth did he found himself in Florence, Italy. Robert Langdon is also plagued by visions resembling those of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, where various wrongdoers are condemned to eternal suffering to repay in death what they took for granted in life, and other sins. As soon as Langdon escapes the hospital together with the generic woman side character (played by Felicity Jones), things get real messy really fast.
And why does Inferno feels like it was edited on the fly, without any real visual substance to be added to scenes where a certain events with gravitas were to happen? The blame can be put on Howard, but given how much producers stick their fingers in movies nowadays – it’s not that big a surprise that Inferno looks and feels cheap after all. Add to that an indistinguishable score thrown in there somewhere to accompany an all-too-familiar thriller piece, questionable acting by all sides involved (yes, even Omar Sy), laughable coincidences that shouldn’t happen in serious films and there you have it: another decent book ruined by a quick cash grab thanks to Hollywood studios and producers.
The premise of the story is good. What will happen if Earth can no longer sustain human life in abundance? What measure will be taken by the world powers to secure that humanity will not perish? But, its amateur realization and poor execution make for a weak attempt of a story that crumbles and falls apart when (also) the ending is changed as opposed to Inferno the novel. It just doesn’t make sense and is not a logical progression that leads to a definitive conclusion.
To sum up things: Inferno abounds with weakly developed characters, poor story, sidekicks that’re just there for the ride and questionable motivations. On the technical side, it’s chaotic, frenetic and copies just about every filming cliché that ever was – but hey – at least Florence is pretty.
If you can, read the book instead.