Movie Review: Inferno
- The Scenery - As is to be expected in a movie such as this, the scenery in Inferno is incredible. Seeing amazing shots of churches and museums in Florence, Italy as well as Venice and Istanbul. With so many movies featuring the destruction of cities and worlds, it's nice to see a movie where one can appreciate such magnificent scenery.
- Hanks and Jones - Both Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones did what they could for this movie. In what I felt would be slow and boring scenes, Hanks and Jones brought a level of intrigue with their performances. Now neither were worthy of oscar consideration by any stretch of the imagination, these two did improve the movie by a letter grade. Their suspense made me care about what they were doing and where they were going. Which is huge for a historical adventure movie such as this.
- Overpopulation - I loved that this movie tried to tackle the issue of overpopulation. Yes I'm aware that I said "tried to" (see The Cons section below). I thought Inferno presented this issue very well and Ben Foster NAILED his role in doing so. Overpopulation is a very complex issue, it's hard to ignore that it is a growing issue and it's even harder to come up with a solution that will work. I really enjoy seeing movies trying to address the hard questions, so I was pleased with the setup for this movie.
- Plot Twists - The plot twists in Inferno were a bit much. Usually I will put plot twists in the con section due to predictabilit. The opposite is true for Inferno. The movie was going along fine, and more or less expected, when all of a sudden you get hit by a tidal wave of plot twists that seemingly came out of nowhere. I can honestly say they were unnecessary and bad twist because of how ridiculous it all was. The twists changed the movie and, unfortunately, I liked the movie before. Then the twists kind of ruined it.
- Too long - Inferno is about 30 minutes too long. Some movies can be long and not feel like it. This movie was about two hours but felt closer to three. Robert Langdon gets way too many visions. A couple quick flashback/visions would have been fine because the visions were pieces of visual art, but the movie keeps going back to the well over and over again. What made it worse was the quick cuts in and out of the main storyline which felt jarring and took me out of the movie most of the time. I think Inferno could have gone without these visions and be better off. As a whole, the movie could have cut out quite a bit to tighten up that runtime.
- "The Decision" - This is easily my biggest issue with Inferno. The trailer presents us with a very compelling question regarding overpopulation. It is setup extremely well in this movie using Dante's Inferno as a vehicle to ask this question. "If you could flip a switch that would kill millions of people, but if you didn't, humanity would be extinct in 100 years, what would you do?". Now I paraphrased that a bit, but that was essentially what the trailer and setup proposed. I was really looking forward to watching Tom Hanks torn on this dilemma, trying to decide what to do and weighing the guilt of both decisions. Instead, this movie asks that question, then never addresses it again. It was kind of a bummer. The question is asked, Robert Langdon came to the obvious decision and that was that. The movie ignores what could have been a great gimmick when translating this story from book to movie form. Instead it was just a mindless following of Langdon solving a puzzle.
What was this movie's biggest pro was also it's biggest con. The movie setup the issue of overpopulation in a powerful way but failed to deliver a compelling movie about that topic. Instead this was a mindless movie of following Robert Langdon piecing things together while exploring magnificent scenery. Unfortunately all the good things in this movie were cancelled out by the bad which resulted in a very average movie. This is a fine movie to watch for free on TV when you are half paying attention. It's also an ok movie if you are very, very bored. Otherwise I see no need in rushing out to catch this movie.