You never know which circle of hell you're gonna get when you show up at the Beverly Public Library book discussion group. We read some fine books. We have a good time. Because we operate democratically, things like Dan Brown are occasionally going to happen to us. Unable to bring myself to read the damned thing--The Da Vinci Code for the same group a few years ago was plenty--I watched the movie instead. It's bad.
Howard returns to the Dan Brown series of Robert Langdon novels with this adaptation of 'Inferno' and delivers a total dud. For a potential end of humanity tale the film's lack of tension or danger nears self parody. Hanks simply looks bored on this occasion and Felicity Jones is just so miscast. The plotting is pretty silly and the Dantesque moments misguided at best. Skip it.
Its issues are glaring and familiar. The sanitized, uninteresting ending is a major sin, too. But, there are some neat gimmicks here. The manic, uncomfortable editing is superb in the first act, building a sense of dread and paranoia later revelations can't quite capitalize on. The overpopulation issue is also foregrounded with omnipresent, menacing shots of sprawling, flooding crowds. Irrfan Khan is a total badass.
Jones should play the bad gurl more often, am I right?
And let's face it Robert Langdon, with his Mickey Mouse watch and boring blazer, is the most "bad-ass" "action" "hero" that Hanks will ever be able to play in his career.
It recreates the fast pace of the book that was not a masterpiece anyhow but something one read in crowded places so one don't need to concentrate that much. The movie has to be approached the same way. The visual imagery of "hell on Earth" at the beginning is the most memorable thing in it as the tension fizzles out midway through with too much double crossings but it is all faults from the original book.
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