Thursday, 20 October 2016

OJ's Movie Review - Inferno

Look, I haven't read the books so I won't be one of "those people"; I'm viewing this purely cinematically.

Tom Hanks returns as the symbologist Robert Langdon in the third adaptation of Dan Brown's books again directed by Ron Howard; this time he must solve clues and escape organizations to save the world from a deadly plague. I always enjoy these sorts of films, National Treasure, Sahara, The DaVinci Code - they aren't credited for their quality but there's something about the ancient codes and puzzles genre that entertains me so I was expecting some enjoyment from Inferno despite it not being one of my most anticipated films of the year.
   And true to form, Inferno did give me Tom Hanks running around beautiful Europe solving clues but not quite as much or at least not as interesting as the previous two films; Inferno didn't really focus on the problem-solving tropes of the genre but gave us more action set pieces and character relationships, which is OK in itself but not what I came to Inferno for.
  The cast of these films though are always a highlight. Tom Hanks is one of the best actors of our generation so it's great seeing him on screen again and does some top notch performances, especially at the beginning of the film. He's joined this time by Felicity Jones who is more than adequate at playing the young attractive sidekick and has some good moments with Hanks. Another highlight to join is Irrfan Khan, I really do enjoy watching him in films since I was first introduced to him in Life of Pi, he is a unique presence in this film as the head of a shadowy organization and gives some welcome comedic moments here and there. Ben Foster, whose work I'm not as familiar with, plays the antagonist somewhat and was a convincing billionaire bent on ending half of humanity for the greater good. Apart from those the rest of the characters were fairly wooden and uninteresting which may be due to how they are introduced or lack of screentime.
  A major positive of the film though is the third act which is a tense sequence of events scored brilliantly by Hans Zimmer. The whole film is shot very quick-pace and some shaky-cam which didn't always work and the beginning was a little unsure on what to focus on but in the climax it felt natural and it worked.
   In the end I enjoyed both The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons a little more but all three films are higher-average at best with Inferno being the weakest.


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