2016 – USA

Director: Ron Howard

Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Irrfan Khan

Words: S. Nix

The third film to be based on a Dan Brown novels, after The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons, sees protagonist and symbology professor Robert Langdon (Hanks) run around the picturesque cities of Florence and Venice with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Jones) in a race against time to prevent the outbreak of a virus that could wipe out half of humanity.

Billionaire Bertrand Zobrist (Foster) has a mind to cull the population to solve the snowballing problem of overpopulation by inventing a highly contagious virus – Inferno. Waking in a hospital bed in Florence with no memory, a dazed Langdon finds that he is involved up to his eyeballs in this plot but has no idea how, and before he can work it out is already on the run from a deadly assassin, the World Health Organisation and the Italian government. Stripped of his most useful tool – his mind – he needs the help of the brilliant Sienna Brooks whom he meets in hospital to make sense of everything and get to Inferno by following a breadcrumb trail of Renaissance art and lit.

Anyone who’s familiar with Brown and his work will have their expectations met and anyone else will find a pretty decent thriller. Langdon and Brooks run through the film breathlessly as all the pieces of the puzzle are put in place and the plot takes a few twists and turns before a climactic and pulse-racing rush to the cross the finish line. It all ends with a bittersweet but satisfying payoff and your knowledge of the Renaissance will possibly have grown as exponentially as the human populace has over the past century. This is based on a Dan Brown book after all and they tend to sometimes straddle the line between conspiracy thriller and history textbook. Anyone who didn’t know Dante from Botticelli soon will.

Overall? A fine addition to the collection that’ll keep you hooked with two very watchable leads in Hanks and Jones, an intriguing plot and some very poignant subject matter.