A confusing third installment that fails to be enjoyable
Let’s get this out of the way: The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons are not good movies. They are sort of campy and schlocky. To me, there are forever the movies to watch to make fun of rather than to enjoy as a quality cinematic experience.
I don’t take the movies seriously–that is what I’m trying to say. I go into them looking for a sort of B-effect. Like look how corny that is or laugh at how vaguely absurd everything is or how obvious some twists are.
So that’s the mindset I went in for with Inferno, the third ‘Robert Langdon’ movie based off a book written by Dan Brown. It is, of course, lead by Tom Hanks.
We are greeted to our familiar protagonist in a haze of strange visions and in a hospital. There he meets his female co-star, Felicity Jones, playing a woman named Sienna who has more to her than meets the eyes.
The movie sort of falls off the rails from there. If it were ever on them. For the first act, as Langdon is recovering from an attack, the movie slices between reality and Dante’s Inferno-like hallucinations. Langdon is as disoriented as the movie is. The shifts were jarring and it didn’t feel like the other movies in the series.
The ‘clues’ and ‘mystery’ were convoluted as always, but this time there was a lack of purpose to it. What are they looking for? What is the point to it all? Those questions are vaguely answered throughout the narrative to the watchers and the characters. This isn’t a bad plot-style, but it is not executed well. The movie also has random ‘action’ and ‘chase’ scenes that are jerky and feel completely out of place.
Inferno was simply discombobulated. It was trying to be something, like a Jason Bourne movie, when it is clearly not. It was sad watching. It was the type of bad that I couldn’t make fun of because it was so aggressively messy. There was no spirit to it, only a dull attempt at being edgy.
From my understanding of the source material, they also changed the ending to be not as shocking, so they failed to be edgy as well.
There are a few saving graces in the movie that make it slightly more bearable. Those graces are primarily the acting. Irrfan Khan is a standout; his character is by far the most interesting. The actors and actresses do their best with the weak material, and actually give it more life than it probably deserves.
But, overall, Inferno is not a good movie. It is not even a good bad movie. I wouldn’t rewatch it again like I do with the other films in the series. If you want a windy mystery over Judaeo-Christian mythology, watch the other two movies. They are easily better. So I can’t recommend this movie, even to fans. It does a disservice, I think. Just avoid Inferno.