by Lisa Dib
It’s been ten years since The Da Vinci Code, so the franchise peeps had to step their game up a notch. They went big. This time, Professor Robert Langdon has to literally save the world using art history because, hey, why not.
Langdon (America’s Dad, Tom Hanks) is back again, chasing dead artists and foiling evil-doers. This time he’s teaming up with another gorgeous brunette in black slacks, Dr Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything) and together they use their frankly intimidatingly encyclopaedic knowledge of art and history to manoeuvre catacombs, museums, Venetian churches and bustling European streets in order to stop the release of a deadly plague. All in a day’s work for the world’s busiest college professor.
You probably know what to expect from this type of movie by now, and you won’t be disappointed if you expect a competently-made action-thriller that verges on the silly at times; Langford is a Sherlock Holmes-esque Genius Problem Solver, which makes him perfect for action films, but kind of uninteresting. There’s no real chemistry, of any sort, between him and Brooks, and film sets its sights too high for the good guy not to win (It’s not a spoiler to say the good guys win, have you ever been to the movies before?)
There’s a good cast (Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Omar Sy) who are largely wasted by forcefully expository dialogue (except Irrfan Khan [Life of Pi, Jurassic World] who is wonderful, as always); the ideas of the film are fun for history buffs (or conspiracy theorists) but are ultimately too grandiose. There's too many layers of subterfuge, too many red herrings, too much po-faced day-saving. Screenwriter David Koepp has penned some of my absolute favourite pieces of work (Jurassic Park, Death Becomes Her...I even do have a soft spot for Secret Window, despite myself) but this feels mechanical. It’s watchable, but ultimately forgettable.
Inferno is in Australian cinemas October 13, 2016.