Inferno (3 stars)


Tom Hanks resumes his role as Robert Langdon in Ron Howard's third Dan Brown adaptation

Tom Hanks and Ron Howard reunite for a third time as Dan Brown's Robert Langdon returns to the big screen. After the huge disappointments that were The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, hopes aren't exactly sky-high. Fortunately, Inferno has some things going for it – namely Ben Foster and Felicity Jones, two actors who can make even the most preposterous dialogue sound credible. There's also a half-decent plot, involving over-population, that has some resonance.

This being the brainchild of Brown, there's an awful lot of running about, this time through Florence, Venice and Istanbul. Hanks, reprising his role as Professor Langdon, wakes in a hospital with mild amnesia and a bullet graze to the head. He's in Florence, in his pocket is a sophisticated clue, and helping him is Jones's kindly Dr Sienna Brooks. When a mysterious female carabiniere starts shooting, they flee the hospital, as a groggy Langdon tries to clear his befuddled brain.

Gradually it becomes clear that Langdon is embroiled in a plot involving a former flame from the World Health Organisation (Borgen's Sidse Babett Knudsen) and a billionaire (Foster) with a radical plan that, somewhat confusingly, involves a company run by a mysterious facilitator (Irrfan Khan). Yes, not all of Inferno makes sense. And if the twists that happen are fairly by-the-numbers, Howard knows well enough how to construct a pacy story to insulate you.

There's also a strong international cast, with French comic superstar Omar Sy (who, like Khan, appeared in Jurassic World) also turning up as a cop on Langdon's trail. Fans of Dante might also enjoy references aplenty to the Italian poet's Divine Comedy. In the end, Inferno is a competent thriller, lovingly photographed and faithfully acted. It might even be better than its predecessors, but that's not exactly saying much.

General release from Fri 14 Oct.


  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 2h 1min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Ron Howard
  • Written by: Dan Brown (novel)
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster
  • UK release: 14 October 2016

Professor Robert Langdon (Hanks) wakes up in a hospital with a bullet wound to the head, a kindly female sidekick (Jones) and a whole lotta skimpily-researched exposition to do. A half-decent plot and a strong international cast make this perhaps the least disappointing of the Dan Brown adaptations.