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INFERNO

SYNOPSIS: When Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.

Review by Louise Keller:
Efficiently made and thoroughly enjoyable, this third film in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code franchise is filled with intriguing plot twists and surprises, always relying on the solid central presence of Tom Hanks, whose credibility and vulnerability is an asset to any film. If you liked the first two, you will certainly like this one. Once again, Hanks plays Robert Langdon, the clear-thinking symbologist with an innate ability to solve puzzles, hindered now by a dose of amnesia. This time around, he holds the future of mankind in his hand; the clock is ticking. Hard to believe it has been ten years since The Da Vinci Code and seven since Angels & Demons. David Koepp, who wrote the screenplay for this latest offering, also wrote that for the latter. Director Ron Howard has paced the story nicely, putting his foot flat on the floor in the final reel as the action crescendos to a spectacular climax. The film delivers exactly what it promises: a taut psychological thriller filled with action, mystery and revelations.

After a brief prologue, we meet Robert Langdon (Hanks) in a state of agitated confusion, suffering from hallucinations and nightmares as he lies in a hospital bed in Florence. Images of deformed bodies, blood, fire, water, serpents and a vision of hell swirl before him. Before long, he is on the run ducking bullets, accompanied by his attractive doctor Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), who is conveniently highly knowledgeable about useful things. Things like the works of Dante and in particular his painting of Inferno (Hell, in Italian), which appears on an artifact in his possession and seems central to the puzzle at hand.

There are splendid views of Florence, Venice and Istanbul (the Hungarian State Opera House and National Museum are also used as locations) as Robert and Sienna set out together to solve the riddle and unlock the clues - one at a time. This involves priceless paintings, stolen treasure, a death mask, secret passages and an ancient club. Meanwhile, we are left to wonder who are all the people chasing them, and what are the consequences of the erratic billionaire bioengineer Bertrand Zobrist's (Ben Foster, suitably deranged) vision to play god? The threat of contagion and a worldwide pandemic is imminent. Who is telling the truth and why?

Jones makes the most of a role that is more than just that of a token female, while Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen (After the Wedding) is an interesting addition to the cast as the head of the World Health Organisation, who also has a personal history with Robert. In fact, the diversity of the cast - physically and ethnically - is one of the film's points of differentiation. Indian star Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi) is charismatic as the head of a private security firm; Omar Sy (unforgettable in The Intouchables) is an unknown quantity and Romanian actress Ana Ularu is striking as one of the pursuers. Look out for a major plot twist half way through the film that many may not see coming.

As time runs out, everything goes into overdrive, allowing the action to escalate to a thrilling, cinematic, showy and somewhat melodramatic finale conclusion amid blood red water and ancient columns. Good entertainment.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

INFERNO (M)
(US, Japan, Turkey, Hungary, 2016)

CAST: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Irrfan Kahn, Omar Sy, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ana Ularu, Ida Darvish

PRODUCER: Michael De Luca, Andrea Gianetti, Brian Grazer

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

SCRIPT: David Koepp (novel by Dan Brown)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Salvatore Totino

EDITOR: Tom Elkins, Daniel P. Hanley

MUSIC: Hans Zimmer

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Peter wenham

RUNNING TIME: 121 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 13, 2016







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