Cast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Irrfan Khan
Director: Ron Howard
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
‘End of Human Race’ type stories have been done to death in Hollywood. I admit, many of them are exciting but only if executed and written with a fresh approach otherwise it is just another cliché film. Ron Howard returns to direct Inferno, based on the novel by the same name, authored by Dan Brown. A sequel to The Da Vinci Code and Angel & Demons, Inferno deals with Robert Langdon’s further quests to save the world and humanity.
Inferno has way too much going on with its storyline. It’s a story that should have been a simple and interesting search for the clues but ends up being a script that is stuffed with over-smart twists and suspense. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a hospital in Florence. He can’t remember what happened in the last 48 hours. But, there are people who are trying to kill him for the reasons he is not aware of yet.
Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) tries to help Robert with his temporary amnesic condition. Meanwhile, a billionaire scientist, Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) has created a plague which will kill majority of human population from the Earth. No one knows where he has planted the plague; he has only left some clues which can be found out by the expert symbologist, in this case – Robert Langdon. Together, Robert and Dr. Sienna embark on the quest that is going to define the fate of human race.
Inferno could still have been a decent story had it limited itself only to the characters of Robert, Dr. Sienna and Zobrist. In fact, the script keeps on adding characters after characters which come up with their own desires with this plague; eventually complicating the script. The character of Harry Sims (Irrfan Khan) seemed forcefully included. A bit extra weight and narrative to his role felt artificial. If that’s not enough, then we have so many twists that take the film away from the actual storyline.
Ron Howard negates the possibility of making Inferno a thrilling affair. Starting off well with the mystery of Robert’s incident in the last 48 hours, the film quickly runs on the track of Dante’s Hell and its relevance to the modern world. Zobrist’s thought on ‘humanity as the bacteria that is growing exponentially and needs to stop with a deadly weapon as a plague’ is also mildly convincing but a put off comes when he unnecessarily gives extra weight to other characters.
That Bruder guy and Harry’s secret profession, all these only distracted the attention from the core story. Amidst all these things are happening, the thrill you expect from such quests was simply absent because more than the clues and breadcrumbs, Inferno was trying to be a suspense thriller. The film lacked that sheer power and interest in the hunt for the plague and too many gimmicks spoiled the film.
Tom Hanks is honest and still works great as a curious symbologist. It’s beyond doubt, the passion he brings into his role which make Inferno gullible. ‘The Theory of Everything’ star actress Felicity Jones does a good job as Dr. Sienna. She supports Tom well in the search and her expressions and chemistry with Tom adds value to the film. Sidse Babett Knudsen as Elizabeth was effective. Ben Foster was spot on as Zobrist. He has a knack for such roles where he has some hidden scheme going on. Irrfan Khan had a peculiar role in the film although I feel it consumed a bit extra time in the film unnecessarily. Irrfan shines as ‘The Provost’ and his particular scene with Tom Hanks in the captive was fun as well as interesting.
Inferno doesn’t excel much in scripting and direction but its locations add a reality vibe and the music by Hans Zimmer keep you glued to the mystery.
Inferno doesn’t impress. An ‘End of Human Race’ narrative without much newness and thrill, it tries to include too many characters and ends up being a dull experience.