While the last few weeks were jam-packed with three or four major new movies each, this weekend only offers one. It’s not uncommon for highly-anticipated films to open alone. However, this one is the third in a franchise that has long since been forgotten. Does the lack of releases on this Halloween weekend mean that this entry might be a fantastic treat, or is it just another sad studio trick?
Once upon a time, Ron Howard adapted the bestselling mystery novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’ into a terribly bland and unengaging big screen picture. Three years later, despite widespread dislike of the first one, he made a sequel (‘Angels & Demons’) that was even worse. Now, seven years after that, Howard is back at it again. Hasn’t Sony learned a lesson by now?
Although not the third book in Dan Brown’s series, ‘Inferno‘ is the third movie. Tom Hanks returns as the puzzle-solving cryptologist Robert Langdon. This round starts with a concussed Langdon waking up in a hospital with a convenient form of amnesia that leaves him clueless as to where in the world he is and how he received severe head trauma. Equally as convenient, his hospital doctor was a child protégé with the same knack for history and puzzles. With a humanity-ending virus at the end of a long multi-country treasure hunt, the pair must get to it before the bad guys do. If you’re capable of shutting your mind off for this not-so-Amazing Race, you just might enjoy ‘Inferno’, the most vanilla mystery movie in years.
For who don’t find entertainment in the works of Dan Brown, there really aren’t many other new options out there. Two musical documentaries are getting limited releases. ‘Oasis: Supersonic‘ takes a look at the Gallagher brothers (no, not the watermelon-smashing comedians) and their band Oasis. ‘Gimme Danger‘ is director Jim Jarmusch’s rock-doc about punk band The Stooges.
Does this weekend offer tricks or treats? That’s depends on whether you like braindead mystery novels or VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ specials.
I actually liked The DaVinci Code a lot – both the book and the movie. Inferno sure is not as interesting as DaVinci, but it is also a fun ride, even though it is more about action and fast cuts than about History, Art and conspiracy.
However – SPOILER – there is a reason for this: “Equally as convenient, his hospital doctor was a child protégé with the same knack for history and puzzles.” If you’ve seen the movie (or read the book), you know why she is so good with puzzles.
Saw the movie this morning and, as with the other Dan Brown adaptations, it’s pretty loyal to the source material. This is the first of the three films to be shot digitally, and Howard’s gone for a more Jason Borne-like look to the film which, honestly, I wasn’t that crazy about. Aside from beautiful establishing shots there’s a whole lot of close-ups here which made the movie look more low-budget than I’m sure it was.
That said, fans of the first two movies and the novels are going to enjoy this…it’s a well-made, if quickly forgettable, thriller. I’d give it a solid “B”.