Inferno is the third Dan Brown book to be turned into a movie. Like the others, everyman Tom Hanks stars as Robert Langdon, and Ron Howard directs. As with The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, the story is a mystery packaged around history and historical events.
Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy, and has no idea how he got there. Dr. Sienna Brooks is taking care of him when a police officer busts into the hospital, splaying bullets and forcing them to flee. The mystery they must solve is how Langdon got the bullet wound that caused his amnesia and why he has information about plans to unleash a 2016 version of the Black Death plagues. These plagues will set off Armageddon and kill 80 percent of humanity.
Like all Brown projects, some of the facts presented are true and others are a lot of speculation. Some are a lot of hooey. But those stretches of truth are needed to push the plot forward. The film moves at a pretty good pace in the first two acts, and is a great chase movie and a fun mystery. Adding to the fun is Howard’s selection of settings, the cinematography, his sense of storytelling and the chemistry between Hanks and Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), who plays Brooks.
Then the film arrives at the unavoidable predictability of the third act. It’s there that Inferno — and its play on Dante Alighieri’s 14 century poem Dante’s Inferno — stumbles and falls into a nonsurprising convoluted mess, implodes and bursts into flames.
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You Vs. Mr. Movie class planned Nov. 4-5
Learn how to review movies at a You Vs. Mr. Movie class with the Herald’s movie reviewer, Gary Wolcott.
You will start by watching Dr. Strange on Nov. 4 at Carmike, 1380 N. Louisiana St., Kennewick. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch.
The class will reconvene from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 5 at Kamiakin library, also in Kennewick. There, Mr. Movie will go through the ins and outs of how to review a movie.
It costs $21 and includes the ticket.
Register at bit.ly/You_Vs_MrMovie.
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, Sidse Babett, Knudson
Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 in Pasco and the Queensgate 12, and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.