Kyle J. Steenblik

Inferno is a Banal Tripe Worth Forgetting [Review]

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Directed by: Ron Howard
Screenplay by: David Koepp
Based on Inferno by Dan Brown
Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Irrfan Khan
Running time 121 minutes
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, disturbing images, some language, thematic elements and brief sensuality.

2 stars out of 5Academy Award® winner Ron Howard returns to direct the latest bestseller in Dan Brown’s (Da Vinci Code) billion-dollar Robert Langdon series, Inferno, which finds the famous symbologist (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones); a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world’s population. – Courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment


Inferno lingered on screen for two hours of unrelenting mediocrity and downright stupidity ineptly masquerading as intelligent, suspenseful, action packed intrigue. There was no sense of suspense as each and every plot twist was telegraphed well in advance of the reveal, and the ultimate climax was so anticlimactic that my only sense of amazement was at the ineptitude of both the villains and heroes did not result in a shorter film. I am not one, generally speaking, to be bothered by plot-holes, or supercilious narratives in a film. Usually my suspension of disbelief is sufficient to take these oversights at face value and accept the story being told. My usual tolerance was insufficient for the nonsense presented in Inferno. It was akin to watching a homeowner build a battering ram to gain entrance to their house after they think they locked themselves out while there is an open window next to the front door, and people still inside the house. Nothing in the progression of the plot made sense, or seemed to flow from one event to the other; the only apparent motivation for any action was the fact that the script said so. The script for this film is the only reason I can see that a film starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard was so disappointingly dreadful.

Inferno may be a fantastic waste of time, it may be mind-numbingly dull, it could even be insultingly ludicrous, but what it is not is poorly executed. It might be one of the most well mad terrible films I have seen, which will undoubtedly fool some members of the audience into thinking they enjoyed it. Do not be fooled, you didn’t enjoy this film, you simply didn’t understand it but feel like admitting that is like admitting you don’t know how to read as an adult. As the books it is based upon this film can kill time while you wait for a flight to land, where it will be left on the airplane for the next passenger where it will be forgotten faster than it can be watched. Like those hypothetical passengers on the hypothetical airplane, we should file this film away next to the books as something that happened that we do not really care to remember.

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