Inferno hardly hell on earth but no heaven here ei­ther

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film - with Ju­lian Wright

DI­REC­TOR Ron Howard has set him­self an up­hill bat­tle with Inferno.

Seven years after An­gels & De­mons, this third en­try in a soso fran­chise has an unimag­i­na­tive “shock” twist ob­vi­ous from the get-go.

It is as if Howard was feel­ing bored and up for the chal­lenge of de­liv­er­ing a good film, de­spite the odds.

Though it has its share of down­falls, I found my­self swept up in the silli­ness of this Italy and clue-hop­ping mys­tery.

Wak­ing up in a Florence hos­pi­tal con­fused and with a sketchy mem­ory, Har­vard pro­fes­sor Robert Lang­don (Tom Hanks) must piece to­gether why he is there and why an un­known woman is shoot­ing at him.

On the run with Dr Si­enna Brooks (Felic­ity Jones), the pair dis­cover a trail of clues left in tourist hot spots by zany bil­lion­aire Ber­trand Zo­brist (Ben Foster), who has a the­ory to wipe out a chunk of the hu­man race to en­sure its fu­ture sur­vival.

Any­one who has watched at least one B-grade thriller can guess the twist about 90 min­utes ahead of its re­veal, mak­ing for a long wait un­til the in­evitable.

But Howard opens with a fran­tic and fraz­zled bang and holds the tone as Hanks and Jones feign chem­istry as they put the pieces to­gether.

It is one of few in­di­ca­tions that Howard has a firm han­dle on the fa­mil­iar ma­te­rial – crank­ing it up to 10 and mov­ing at a brisk enough pace that hope­fully the au­di­ence won’t have time to pon­der the holes.

While it doesn’t go up in a ball of flames, Inferno is a toasty time passer.

Si­enna (Felic­ity Jones) and Lang­don (Tom Hanks).

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