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Dan Brown writes novels and Ron Howard turns them into reality. Therefore, while the majority remembers “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons”, “Inferno” appears on the screens. For more on whether we should joyfully clap our hands or simply take a large bucket of popcorn to occupy our hands and heads with something see in the review of Re:plika.
There is something strange with Professor Robert Langdon – he wakes up in the hospital in a state of delirium. Next to him there is a pretty physician Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) who is caught between devices indicating his vital signs. However, professor thinks he is in Boston, but in fact he is in Florence. He cannot remember how he came to be there. Furthermore, he is pursued by terrible visions: blood flows, dead men, pain, suffering and incomprehensible woman covered with a shawl. He cannot discern her face. At this very moment the police officer (with a face like a zombie) breaks into hospital and begins shooting to kill. The doctor keeps her head and saves Langdon taking him from the hospital to her home (and where else!).
From this moment we observe dynamic running of Professor Langdon and Dr. Brooks over main attractions of Florence, and in principle some logic of detective narration also ends because holes in the detective intrigue are clear even to the blind. Returning to the plot, the main conflict is that some billionaire geneticist Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), who believed that rigorous measures are necessary to reduce the Earth's growing population (in principle, any sane person cannot but agree with his arguments), decided to bump off the majority of mankind for the salvation of others. Otherwise, they destroy themselves within 40 years. To prevent this from happening, he created a kind of virus (inferno) and hid it. However, for some reason Professor Langdon finds in his pocket a “Faraday pointer”, a miniature image projector with a modified version of Sandro Botticelli's Map of Hell, which itself is based on Dante's Inferno. Therefore, Langdon is traced by the World Health Organization (WHO), headed by Christophe Bouchard (Omar Sy), as well as by someone from the US Consulate, led by Mr. Sims (Irfan Khan). In general, run, professor, run.
The Templars, Illuminati and Masons were mentioned in the previous series. So Conspirology and sluggish terrorists threatening to activate biological weapons (new “black plague”) appear to replace them. Terrorists are so sluggish as to die at the very beginning of the film, but they substitute themselves for some followers (who actually look like even more sluggish and have a kind of illogical plans) while trying to stay the main protagonist till the end. As a result, the only enemy is a virus which is kept in the package – you’d better not know where exactly… but when it happens you will rather laugh than be frightened.
Ron Howard. who had directed the first film in this epopee “The Da Vinci Code” and made a good thing of “Angels and Demons”, decided to earn some more money. Most likely, Tom Hanks is also guided by this because it is clear that only he is associated with the character of Robert Langdon. But any other reasons, secret desires and motives can hardly explain release of the movie “Inferno” which was initially planned to be “The Lost Symbol” (the third book of the author) but in the process of preparation for the film everything was suddenly changed due to the fact that it became known about the publication of the fourth book.
In fact, in “Inferno” there is no main feature of Dan Brown books and it is probably the key to understanding the reason why this film is so boring (despite its apparent dynamism). Brown and the film-makers no longer defy history, well-known events and symbolic personalities. The red thread of the narrative is completely banal and main characters constantly quote Dante during their running across tourist routes in Florence (Baptistery), Venice (Piazza San Marco) and even Istanbul (Hagia Sophia) - it is impossible not to notice. Even the main villain Zobrist was obsessed with Dante and encrypted clues to the above-mentioned virus using his works. That is, Dante is only a screen, necessary ingredient for the viewer (or reader), so that it would be impossible to notice forgery due to recognizable style. Thus, those things which cause criticism towards Dan Brown (contradictory interpretation of historical facts and sometimes their outright misrepresentation) are the secret ingredient that allows watching film adaptations of his novels with interest (of course we are talking about “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons”).
Moviegoers can only enjoy tourist attractions and imagine that this film is advertising material appealing to visit Italy (Florence and Venice are wonderful in the film) or Istanbul where you can see not only a beautiful girl Felicity Jones but also charismatic Indian actor Irfan Khan. That's all, folks.
Original title: Inferno
Genre: adventure thriller, detective
Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: David Koepp, Dan Brown
Cast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, SIDS Babette Knudsen, Irfan Khan, Omar Sy and others.
Country: USA, Japan, Turkey, Hungary
Running time: 121 minutes
Replicas from the film:
- Dante's Inferno is not a fiction. This is prophecy.
- You have head injury. Fantasies, memories - everything had got all mixed up.
- I give you a route. Only you can find a way out.
- Imagine how much governments are ready for everything just to take possession of the virus.
- I know why I am in Florence. There are nine places and this is the first. Look, it is a clue… I will do everything to find the answer.
- Mankind is a disease. Inferno is a remedy.
Photo: B&H film distribution