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review by Bobby Blakey

There is no denying that Ron Howard has delivered some truly great films throughout his directing career. In 2006 he teamed up with Tom Hanks to bring the famed Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code kicking off a full on franchise that was followed by Angels and Demons in 2009. Now the third chapter of the franchise is here with Inferno with Hanks returning to the role of Langdon along with Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Omar Sy, and Irrfan Khan joining the cast. Could this latest entry offer up a compelling story that strengthens the franchise or will this be the last case for him to solve?

Inferno follows symbologist Robert Langdon on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks, a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world's population. Before I get into this movie let me just say I am not a big fan of the previous two films. They aren’t horrible by any means, but I just never was able to get fully invested despite my love for Tom Hanks and Ron Howard. This latest entry offers up more of the same thing with a bit more action in as chaotic story. From the beginning you can tell this entry is going to be a bit different as it kicks things off with a mystery firmly already in place. The other aspect that stands out that I kind of dug was the ongoing visions Langdon was having showcasing a hellish world. This gave the film more meat than I expected and felt that I got in the previous films.

Hanks returns to the role and does a good job as always, but this time around he is mentally struggling with so much for this troy that often times he felt out of place in the role. Gone is the confident nature of the character and his performance and in its place is a character struggling for control. This is a great change for the character to give you a sense of something different, but just felt off to me. Felicity Jones does a good job as well, but never gets a chance to do much that really stands out. The mystery this time around still tends to drag getting to any revelations and once it never gave me a sense of satisfaction that went along with the journey to get there.

Despite this films issues I can say that I found myself actually enjoying this one more so than the previous films just thanks to it feeling like more was happening even if it didn’t always work. If you are a fan of the previous films this one offers up pretty much more of the same with some new twists, but if you didn’t then this film will likely not be for you. Not sure if there will be any more films in the franchise, but I would still be willing to give it another shot thanks to the Hanks and Howard and I truly believe there are some interesting elements in all of these films that I would like to see come together in a better way.

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