Based on the novel written by Dan Brown in 2013, Inferno is an average mystery thriller that is largely a retread of the previous Ron Howard productions of the Robert Langdon series. Like the previous adaptations of The Da Vinci Code in 2006 and Angels and Demons in 2009, the film stars Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, the renowned fictional Harvard professor of symbology who finds himself entangled in yet another international conspiracy. We first find Professor Langdon waking up in a hospital in Florence, Italy and suffering from short-term memory loss as a result of a mysterious head injury. With the assistance of a British expat working as an emergency room doctor, portrayed by Felicity Jones, he gradually remembers details of the past 48 hours and is forced to embark on a wild goose chase to prevent a sinister plot from unfolding. While experiencing vivid nightmarish visions, he uses his vast knowledge of ancient symbols to decrypt a series of clues hidden in famous museum artifacts throughout Florence. As the title suggests, many of the mysteries are somehow connected to the 14th century Florentine poet Dante Alighieri and his famous work The Divine Comedy and its first part known as Inferno, which gave us our modern understanding of hell. Professor Langdon discovers that there is an eccentric billionaire named Zobrist who hatches a plan to solve overpopulation by secretly creating a disease to kill off half of the world’s population. Much of the film has a frenetic and fast-paced feel that sometimes too quickly jumps from one clue to the next across increasingly exotic locations throughout Europe. The real problem with the movie is that much of it is too cryptic, making it hard to digest all the details crammed into two hours. Also, unfortunately, much of the action is too preposterous and convoluted to take seriously. It is a film that is really more of the same and already has been done more adequately in the prior installments. Overall, it is a movie better suited to readers of Dan Brown’s novels and casual fans of frivolous mystery thrillers. The redundant cliches that we have already seen led me to believe that it was simply made as a cash cow for the studio, desperate for another Brown-Howard-Hanks blockbuster co-production.

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