I think it safe to say that many, if not all, of us have been underwhelmed by Ron Howard’s Robert Langdon films thus far. Based on the novels of Dan Brown beginning with The Da Vinci Code, and starring the usually diverting Tom Hanks, the film series has not managed to capture the entertainment value of Brown’s books. They have, however, captured the author’s total disregard for art history and cohesive plotting. Now, Howard has another crack at making something out of Brown’s Robert Langdon series with his latest film Inferno, coming to theaters in October.
The newest featurette for Inferno features a more cohesive explanation of the plot than we’ve had in trailers thus far. Langdon awakes in an Italian hospital afflicted with partial amnesia, a cylinder with an image of Botticelli’s “Map of Hell” in his jacket, and a bunch of people trying to kill him. This leads him off on a wild chase through Florence, in the company of his doctor Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones). The clock is ticking, though, and only Langdon can unlock the mystery of the Inferno. Because of course he can.
Although the featurette tries to make a case for it, Inferno still just looks like another in the apparently endless series of Langdon adventures that demand the Harvard “symbologist” solve an unsolvable mystery and avert worldwide catastrophe, all while in the company of an attractive young lady. Howard and Hanks managed to take the solidly cinematic The Da Vinci Code and turn it into something banal and very silly, and the less said about Angels & Demons, the better. If Inferno remains true to form, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, it will be yet another big budget disappointment to complete the trilogy.
We’ll know soon enough, however, as Inferno burns its way to theaters on October 28.