From beginning to end Inferno is an on-the-go thriller. The action opens with Dr Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) in hospital with a concussion. In the midst of his confusion and weakness Langdon has visions that resemble judgment day terror, and flashbacks that seem to make no sense. It becomes apparent that he is being chased by three different lots of people because of a mysterious file in his possession. The attending doctor at the hospital, Dr Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), helps Langdon escape their clutches and together the two dash across Italy and then further into Europe following one clue after another. Their journey takes them to religious shrines that date back to the infamous Middle Ages and the time of the Black Plague. A modern-day maniac, Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), is linked to the file Langdon decodes, and it becomes apparent that Zobrist wants to unleash spores of that deadly ancient plague into the water system. By doing this he will wipe out half the Earth’s human beings, thus sorting out the problem of overpopulation and evil. Langdon and Brooks have limited time to find the virus and stop the attack.
There are several twists in the plot from both sides of the good versus evil divide – not especially clever – but interesting nevertheless. The pace kept my attention for the full two hours before the story was brought to a satisfying, if predictable, ending.
Inferno is based on the book by Dan Brown and is part of the Da Vinci Code/Robert Langdon series. I didn’t enjoy the religious theme in the previous films. Whilst this theme does come through in Inferno it is fairly mild here and is teamed with modern interpretations of biological warfare, which makes it more palatable. Tom Hanks is always quite good as an ordinary man fighting against much bigger odds. Camera close-ups of him revealed what looks like boot-polish coloured hair, something I have a personal aversion to in ageing male actors. Despite this tiny personal dislike I thought Hanks was good in this and I enjoyed the film.
Inferno opens at Ster Kinekor theatres in South Africa on 9 December 2016.