‘Inferno’: When Will the Flame Die Out?

Director Ron Howard brings us the much-anticipated ‘Inferno,’ a formulaic three-quel that, despite all creative odds, plays too much by its own rules.

‘Inferno’ is a stale attempt for the ‘DaVinci Code’ franchise, feeling all too familiar to enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

Inferno is the third chapter into the realm of the DaVinci Code, the mystery-novel-gone-film-franchise that just can’t seem to escape the public eye. However, being such a strong creative force in an assembly-line industry like Hollywood, what makes this new adventure for Harvard professor Langdon so unsettling?

This suspense thriller dissects the theories presented by geneticist mogul Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster). Zobrist’s fascination with Dante’s Inferno provokes him to preach of a viral plague so massive that human population can become regulated once more. Meanwhile, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a hospital bed in Florence, attempting to figure out how he even got there in the first place. With 48 hours of memory loss and Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) by his side, Langdon must go through hell and back to stop the suicidal Zobrist from wiping out half the human race, using the Inferno as a road map into his mind.

Inferno does everything right, from the acting to the plot to even the pacing of the editing. Every nuance is tweaked and perfected to the best of director Ron Howard’s ability. Nevertheless, that’s where the problem lines, on the opposite side of perfection. It’s so well-versed to the point where one can argue that the mystery caper falls into a formula.  It feels interchangeable with its precedent films, creating a foundation on work we’ve seen before.

In other words, Inferno falls flat in how intricately recognizable it is. The novelty has worn off, and the audience gets a clear visual of its blueprints.

“It’s almost a little disappointing to see Tom Hanks do a movie like this because it feels cheesy,” said Jenna Stuiso, 20 year-old film buff from Nutley, N.J. “Inferno isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen, yet it doesn’t give me any good reason to see it a second time.”

Overall, Inferno looks for more than just the symbols in ancient relics. The audience, underestimated once again, searches for the symbolism of the overall picture, why its creation even mattered at all. It’s got the bells and whistles of Robert Langdon’s previous outings, but with a new perspective of a dry spell down the road. Hence, the DaVinci Code franchise just needs to pump the breaks and let time pay its dues.

Inferno  is now playing in movie theaters worldwide! Some local venues include AMC Clifton Commons, AMC Essex Greens in West Orange and even Bow Tie Bellevue Cinemas in the heart of Upper Montclair. For a list of even more theaters and show-times, visit fandango.com and start planning your next trip to the movies today!

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