Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Film Review: "Inferno" (2016).


"There is a switch, if you throw it, half the people on earth will die. But if you don't, the human race will be extinct in a hundred years. What would you do?" This is the fundamental question looming in Inferno. This mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard, written by David Koepp, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Dan Brown. The film is the sequel to The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2009), and is the third installment in the Robert Langdon film series. Famous symbologist 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, 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.

Following the release of Angels & Demons, Sony moved forward with adapting The Lost Symbol, but the production suffered "development hell" as both Howard and Hanks were hesitant to return to the series. Ultimately, the novel Inferno was released in 2013, and Sony decided to forward with adapting Inferno instead with a set December 18 2015 release date. In late August 2014, Sony had finalized the deal to have Howard, Koepp, and Hanks to direct, write, and reprise his role of the famous symbologist, and set production for a April start date in Italy. By mid February 2015, Sony announced the cast for the film that included Felicity Jones as Dr. Sienna Brooks, Omar Sy as Christoph Bruder, Irrfan Khan as Harry "The Provost" Sims, Sidse Babett Knudsen as Elizabeth Sinskey, head of the World Health Organization, and Ben Foster as an unspecified villain, which later revealed to be the role of Bertrand Zobrist. Filming began in late April, and wrapped in late July, with a budget of $75 million, and under the codename Headache. Locations included Venice and Florence, Italy, and Korda Studios in Budapest, Hungary. In early 2016, the release date for the film was moved to October 28 2016 to avoid clashing with Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). The release marks a decade after the release of The Da Vinci Code, and the first film in the series to be released in the Fall instead of Summer.

The film stars Hanks, reprising his role, alongside Jones, Sy, Knudsen, Foster, and Khan. The cast gave compelling performances even though it bordered on complete silliness and absurdity. At times, every supporting character acts like an unhelpful idiot to keep the plot stirring, while yet again a seemingly all-powerful conspiracy seems to consist of a few evil people.

Inferno is a fast-paced thrill ride, and an improvement on the last Dan Brown adaptation, Angels & Demons, but the storyline too often wavers between implausible and ridiculous, and does not translate effectively to the big screen.

Simon says Inferno receives:

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