“When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.”

Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Dan Brown, David Koepp
Staring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Omar Sy
Streaming: Amazon Rental
Release Date: October 28. 2016

You hate to see a franchise go out with a whimper. The Robert Langdon movie franchise closed out its time in 2016 with Inferno, and Ron Howard and company went down pitifully into the night.

Inferno is the worst of the trilogy by a wide margin, due largely in part to frantic pacing of the story. The audience is thrown into the well with Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) sitting in a hospital bed with no memory of anything that has transpired over the last 48 hours. It turns out that Langdon is in some deep shit, but with the aid of Siena Brooks (Felicty Jones), the symbologist starts to pick up the pieces of his memory.

Langdon’s skills were procured by the World Health Organization at the behest of Elizabeth SInskey (SIdse Babett Knudsen) to help stop a new plague. Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) is a billionaire who believes that the world population is exponentially growing and such a trend is a damning potential for the world. Zobrist want’s the world to embrace the pain of half the world dying for a new renaissance. The WHO and Langdon don’t want no part of it.

There is backstabbing galore and world traveling hijinks sprinkled throughout, but it is missing a key ingredient to what makes the Dan Brown books so strong and what made The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2009) entertaining.

Where is the puzzle solving?? There was only one moment of fun human decryption and historical education. When Sienna and Langdon and breaking down the levels of Dante’s Hell and explaining how he described the depiction we all understand today, that is the fun shit! More of that please! Not the magically finding out about Dante’s death mask and other McGuffins. Inferno took away the best part of Langdon’s genius and charisma but limiting his memory and his recollection. That is not the fault of the movie seeing how they are just following what Brown wrote, but the translation of story telling is far different between literature and film.

It should also be noted that Inferno was made seven years after Angels & Demons, and that was on purpose because someone in Hollywood decided to skip Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. Now I will be the first to admit that The Lost Symbol is the worst of the four Robert Langdon books, but still it’s very good. Now that book is being made into a Peacock original drama (Let’s just say that the first episode was not a great indication).

Okay, now permit me to be a “book is better than the movie” snob. In Dan Brown’s novel Inferno, there is a much tenser connection between religion and science in the book. The only connotation of religion in the movie is strictly related to Dante which takes away so much from what makes Brown’s writing and research so excellent.

Inferno, the movie, can be skipped. It is Hanks’ second lowest rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes since 2015; for those curious The Circle (2017) is the worst reviewed. I know Rotten Tomatoes stinks. I know it does. I don’t use it as a barometer or not, but it does she what the majority of the populous thought of it. Inferno was also a dark spot for Ron Howard; he had two motion pictures where he was a producer that flopped back to back; Inferno and The Dark Tower (2017).

STANKO RATING: D (2.0/5 Stars)


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