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Inferno 7/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 110 minutes.

OK for children.

While this is a peripatetic thriller/chase film that is all tension and action, it contains so many twists and counter twists that it finally just overwhelms you. Even though the action continues to the end, both my guest and I actually fell asleep for a few moments during the climax that was almost totally incomprehensible about who was doing what to whom.

The best things about the film are the beautiful locations. I havenít been to Florence for decades but the city was instantly recognizable from the first few opening shots.

Tom Hanks is back as Dr. Robert Langdon and heís got himself in a real pickle, even though he doesnít really know whatís happening. Fortunately, heís got Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) to help him through things and to run away and avoid the bad guys, which is what they do through most of the movie.

Hanks seems to be running out of gas. He was lethargic in Sully and he still seems tired and unenthusiastic, just like heís punching a clock, knowing his lines and hitting his marks, nothing more. Of course, this role of Langdon was washed out when he started out with author Dan Brown and director Ron Howard in their anti-Catholic first endeavor, The Da Vinci Code. This is his third appearance as Langdon, and he and Howard ought to give it a rest. Three films about Langdon are three too many.

For the record, thereís no hint of anti-Catholicism here. Apparently they got that out of their systems.

One thing I didnít understand, though, was the short shrift the film gives to Ghibertiís Doors, which open into The Baptistry, probably the most iconic Florentine Romanesque building in Florence. We really only see them at a glance as Langdon comes crashing into the building. If you didnít know what they were, as I did, you would have no idea that you were viewing a masterpiece.

The plot is barely believable and it would be a spoiler to even allude to whatís going on, but itís always fun to see the good guys try to get away from the bad guys, especially when theyíre doing it in such a scenic locale.