Sixteen years ago I, like so many others I got caught up in reading Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.” And as with any good book, the movie was not too far behind, and this book got the royal treatment. Staring Tom Hanks, and directed by Ron Howard, there was no way this movie wasn’t going to be a hit. I jumped ship book wise after “The Da Vinci Code”, but with all the success there is always more of where that came from. Brown wrote more books, with “Angels and Demons “following and being turned into a movie in 2009. Here we are seven years later, and it seems we needed more Robert Langdon, as Hanks and Howard have returned for another run, to solve another mystery and to save the world yet again.
Armed with a much better hair due, Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a hospital bed confused and lost after he appears to have been involved in something he can’t recall. Attending to him is a Doctor named Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), who is trying to help Professor Langdon remember what happened to him. It doesn’t take long for someone to find him, as he and Dr. Brooks escape and try and figure out what is going on. As usual everything happening revolves around a mystery that Langdon is trying to solve. This one involves a billionaire named Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), who thinks the world has too many people. Not settling on just calling an AM talk show, Zobrist develops a pathogen that will wipe out most of the people on earth. Langdon isn’t the only one trying to figure things out, as the W.H.O, and a mystery guy named Harry Sims (Irrfan Kahn) try to stop or help Langdon. The only question is will Langdon solve the mystery before its too late?
“Inferno” follows the same beats as the previous Brown/Howard collaborations. Written by David Koepp (Jurassic Park), who also wrote the last film in this series as well. With national treasure Tom Hanks returning to lead the chase, you knew things were in good hands. Hanks, though is not the only cast member leading the charge. With strong performances by both Jones, and Khan, this might be the strongest acted movie of the bunch. There are lots of the usual jetting around to historical locales, discovering hidden messages buried in artifacts. Now they say the fun is in the chase, and with “Inferno” that is kind of true.
With the strong acting leading the way, it really is the generic script by Koepp that keeps the film from being anything special. Koepp who has written at least one of your favorite movies from the last twenty years, kind of feels like he is just going through the motions with this one. It’s the acting that saves the film, and makes it watchable. There is nothing really bad about this movie, it is just one of those that will get lost this close to the end of the year. You pretty much know Langdon is going to figure things out, so it’s all about the journey with this one. There are a lot worst things you can do with your time than sit through this movie. So stay for Tom Hanks running and ruining the bad guys plans, because you know in the end they would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for that meddling professor.