INFERNO Movie Review by The Commander


2 (out of 4-stars)

Dan Brown's third installment of the Robert Langdon novels comes alive in the movie, Inferno.  His first novel, The Da Vinci Code, was widely-read, which had audiences abuzz waiting for the movie’s release and it did well at the box office.  The next installment, Angels & Demons, didn't do as well financially, but still was an enjoyable movie.  The third installment, Inferno, unfortunately does not reach the level of the previous films. 


It starts out in a blur.  Something has happened to Professor Langdon (Tom Hanks) and we're not exactly sure what it is.  All we know is that he's in a hospital bed attended by Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones).  Told from his point of view, everything is a blur, disjointed, flashes of images and memory loss and apparently, someone is trying to kill him.  These first few minutes are previews of what’s to come over the next 2 hours.  The story unfolds as a convoluted mess that doesn't make sense until the last few minutes.  The twists and turns in the movie make it difficult to follow the story. 


The premise is simple enough.  Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), a billionaire fanatic, believes that the only way to stop destruction of the environment is by eliminating half the population through a manmade plague. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) crimefighter, Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is hot on his trail, along with Christoph Bouchard (Omar Sy) who is out to stop him.  But wait, there's a secret organization led by Harry Sims (Irrfan Khan) that's somehow involved.  Put it all together and you've got a very confusing story that director Ron Howard tries valiantly to explain on the screen, but misses.  While the story is explained by Harry Sims, his heavy Indian accent and low tone makes it difficult to understand.  I'm blessed that I have many Indian friends, so I could understand Sims and even get his jokes, while others in the audience were not so fortunate.


I enjoyed this film.  While it wasn't one of the better ones, it was still entertaining.  Since the plot was a little more sophisticated than a standard action film, some viewers may not be able to rise to the level of intrigue that novel readers enjoy.  I don't expect it's going to be a big box office hit, but it does rank in my list of films to see, especially if you love reading Dan Brown novels.  Foreign audiences will like it for the action sequences, which don’t require a lot of language translation.