Famed symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in hospital with amnesia. But he scarcely has time to register that he is not, as he believed in the US, but in Florence, Italy, before an assassin is striding down the corridor towards him. He must escape, with the help of his doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones).
If you’ve seen the other Dan Brown-based movies, or read the author’s books, you’ll know that solving puzzles is Langdon’s thing. This time, he must work out clues left by a mad scientist who has created a deadly virus that will wipe out most of Earth’s population in order, he says, to save the planet. The clues are all inspired by the Italian poet Dante (the guy responsible for our ideas of what Hell is like), and Langdon and a similarly puzzle-obsessed Sienna begin a race across Europe to foil the deadly plot.
Some plot points verge on the ludicrous; and some early scenes are unnecessarily like something from Pan’s Labyrinth. But Ron Howard’s Inferno is one of those films you watch when you just want to be entertained. The shots of European cities are gorgeous; the story is just convoluted enough to keep you guessing without getting frustrated; there is a MASSIVE TWIST that changes everything you thought you knew; and Life of Pi’s Irrfan Khan plays one of the best villains ever created.
If you like thrillers, history and aesthetically pleasing views, ignore the intellectually snobbish reviews, and just enjoy the (sometimes literal) ride.