Directed by: Ron Howard
Based on Novel by: Dan Brown
Cast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan, Ben Foster
This is the 3rd movie directed by Ron Howard based on Dan Brown’s novels of Robert Langdon series. The initial two movies; “DaVinci Code” and “Angels & Demons” had their share of admirers and critics. Though there were issues with their staying true to the books, yet the movies were successful in translating the mythical mystery of the books. Howard skipped the 3rd novel of the series “Lost Symbol” and opted to direct the 4th book probably due to a more mass-friendly theme.
I am big fan of the book series and though “Inferno” was my least favorite among the 4 books, yet I was expecting that the movie adaptation for once would be better than the book as it had more room for visual appeal and a higher thrill quotient.
What works for the Movie
- The brand value for the Dan Brown fans who have stayed loyal to the series despite mediocrity of the last two books.
- Casting Falicity Jones as Sienna Miller and Irrfan Khan as Harry Sims were good calls. Tom Hanks whose look (especially his hairdo) in the previous two movies didn’t get much popular with his fans, appears in a much more acceptable look in the 3rd installment.
- The Initial Half of the movie grasps the attention of the viewer and the build up is well supported by decent twists and pacy narrative.
What doesn’t work for the Movie
- Deviation from the original story in the book spoils the flavor for the book fans. The ending, to be specific, is quite different from the one in the book. Although the book itself didn’t offer a very exciting ending, yet those who must’ve watched the movie only because of its affiliation with the book, might end up considering this a serious put-off.
- Performances of the support cast leave a lot to be desired. Even the principal characters, though very well cast, fail to put up anything extraordinary. Being a huge Tom Hanks fan, I have to admit that even he seems disinterested and unconvinced in his performance at times. This might be due to the weak script but as an end result, the performers fail to invoke any interest in a timid script.
- The later half of the movie slumps quite badly. There is a certain twist at the mid-point which really helps to raise the expectations (spoiler avoided). But after that it goes all downhill. Whatsoever interest was created by the intriguing build-up of the plot loses all its charm during the later parts. The ending, specifically, is extremely weak and gives a very amateurish feel to the whole thing.
The previous two movie adaptations of the series were much better efforts technically but couldn’t set the box-office on fire and this seems to have a defining impact on the 3rd. “Inferno” quite visibly suffers due to the director’s effort to make it more commercial and mass-friendly by making certain changes in the original story and putting in exaggerated situations.
As a result, even when I really disliked the book, I feel disappointed to say that the book still ends up being much better than the movie.