Inferno is a 2016 action adventure film directed by Ron Howard, written by David Koepp based on the novel by Dan Brown and starts Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Carson, Omay Sy and Irrfan Khan. The basic plot of the film revolves with a plan to eliminate half the population of the world with a deadly biological weapon.
Everyone has had this specific feeling at a moment in their lives where the world could end but you as a person could not be bothered. That is the specific feeling Inferno elicits from its audience. The implications of the story are horrifying on a worldwide scale when heard, but a sit down watch of the film just cannot match the horrors being discussed. The rhetoric of humans destroying the earth systematically has been pounded into the consciousness of the public at large over a very long period. This can also act as a desensitiser to the motivations of the supposed bad guys who think they are doing god’s work so to speak. The clock striking midnight on the human race’s survival is just an add on to the doomsday scenario.
The performances are all just about fine with none of the actors having much to do. Tom Hanks is always a welcome sight on screen but the great man himself seems to have checked out of this franchise at this point. The puzzles given to his character Dr. Langdon seem very pedestrian and not something a man of his standards deserves. A satisfying analogy would be Sherlock Holmes playing a game of Clue with his 5-year-old nephew, but he is playing the game at the 5-year old’s level of intellect.
Felicity Jones is completely wasted and so is Irrfan Khan. Irrfan Khan strikes me as an actor Hollywood has no clue how to use. His roles do not come close to matching the level of nuance and maturity he brings as an actor. From a technical standpoint, everyone is doing their jobs just fine. This is just filmmaking for beats and not for any sort of actual character or art. The one aspect which is truly bad though are the visual effects in the film. The CGI shots are weak and have a student film-esque look to them.
A small observation on how to finish the movie before it even starts is this, if you are a person who has a biological weapon and thinks using it and wiping out half the population of the world is the only way to save it, why wouldn’t you just release it? Why does it matter how you do it? Doesn’t the end game turn out the same whether it is done by releasing it normally or if it released with this super convoluted nonsensical plan. When such a simple question can unravel the plot of this movie, asking more will make the film look like a comedy of errors.