Inferno

First Hit:  It started interestingly and then simply fell off the table by an overly complex and poorly developed script, poor acting, and feeble direction.

I’ve not been a fan of any of the Da Vinci Code oriented films. The best was the first and quickly sank with Angles & Demons. It stays on this downward track with Inferno. Here we’ve got Tom Hanks reprising his character Robert Langdon, who knows more than anyone about Dante, his words, and other’s interpretations of Dante’s work.

The film starts confusingly with Langdon hurt in the hospital with a head injury. He’s confused and is being attended by a physician named Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones). We are also introduced to Billionaire Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), who is convinced that the world is on the verge of collapse. It is 11:59 – one minute till the world collapses because of over population and environmental issues caused by the over population. To right this sinking ship, he wants to spread a virus that will wipe out earth’s population.

With these two plot setups; Langdon being attacked, having amnesia, and why he has a projection device showing Dante’s hell in a picture but the picture has been altered, and the other setup is Zobrist wants to destroy the world’s population. Added to this we have people trying to kill Langdon, the WHO (World Health Organization) trying to stop Zobrist, WHO agent Christoph Bouchard (Omar Sy) who appears to be on some other side, Vayentha (Ana Ularu) a motorcycle riding person wanting to kill Langdon, and Harry Sims (Irrfan Khan) a hired security consultant whose interest in anything is questionable.

Confused, you got it, and that is how the film unfurled itself. What really muddied up this story is that the writer and/or director wanted Langdon to have a tangential and unrequited love interest with WHO’s Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen).

Some of the visual scenes were well shot which helped me to stay somewhat engaged with this lackluster movie. I also loved the, from the air, shots of Venice and Istanbul.

With a bad screenplay and poor direction Hanks was as bad as I’ve ever seen him. There just isn’t enough to be interested in or care about with his character. The device of having him slowly get his memory back during the first half of the film was a waste of Hanks’ talent. Jones character was better than Hanks, but I didn’t buy the shift in her role late in the film. It didn’t surprise me and it just didn’t work. Foster was OK as the guy predicting the end of the world. Khan’s role was sufferable and difficult to watch let alone buy. Knudsen was good in her role until it got to the emotional connection with Langdon, that part denigrated the character. Sy’s role didn’t seem defined and was unclear; it didn’t work for me. Ularu was in a poorly constructed and acted role. David Koepp wrote a horribly convoluted screenplay. Ron Howard knows how to direct so I don’t know what went wrong with the film outside of him just doing his best with the presented screenplay.

Overall:  If there is another film in this series I will not go see it.