Year of Release: 2016
Director: Ron Howard
Screenplay: David Koepp, based on the novel Inferno by Dan Brown
Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Irrfan Khan
Running Time: 121 minutes
Genre: thriller, adventure
In present day Florence, Italy, Professor Robert Langdon (Hanks) wakes up in a hospital bed with concussion, bizarre apocalyptic visions and no memory of the past couple of days. He immediately finds himself being hunted by hired killers and, along with a hospital doctor Sienna Brooks (Jones), goes on the run. The two find themselves embroiled in a plot by a scientist who intends to "save" humanity from it's overpopulation crisis, by wiping out billions of people with his deadly "Inferno" virus.
The above is not a spoiler. We learn about the Inferno virus before the opening credits have finished. This will be familiar ground to fans of previous Dan Brown adaptations, such as The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels and Demons (2009). It's structured like a scavenger hunt, with Langdon and Brook deciphering clues secreted in ancient works of art and Dante's The Divine Comedy which sends them to the next clue. The outcome is never really in doubt, and the film drags in it's first hour, but it does pick up pace, and the ending is quite exciting. The story is of course completely ludicrous as the plots and double-crosses mount up. However the idea of Langdon being incapacitated and not able to make full use of his greatest asset, his mind, in initially interesting but it rapidly fades away. The villains are also intriguing in that they genuinely believe they are doing the right thing, although I suppose that is true of most people.
The film is well-cast, with Tom Hanks as appealing and engaging as ever, and Felicity Jones and Sidse Babett Knudsen providing strong support.