Inferno, the latest in the series of film adaptations based on author Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon character (previously seen in Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code) has many problems, chief among them being a certain lack of logic. At the tail end of the picture a character states that overpopulation on our planet must be contained in order to save the earth. I simply sat there thinking to myself that the last time I checked the earth wasn’t going anywhere and anyone of scientific merit will tell you that the earth will continue spinning long after the human species has come and gone. If anything is endangered it would be the people who inhabit the planet and not the planet itself. That, of course, doesn’t stop the plot machine in the film from cranking out a tale springing from the premise that overpopulation will destroy the earth. If you’re willing to swallow that premise then maybe you won’t have as many problems with Inferno as I did.

At the onset of the film, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), the professor with a penchant for decoding symbols, is lying in a hospital suffering from what appears to be amnesia and nursing a head wound. It’s funny how his amnesia is so selective that he can’t remember the word coffee but can remember lesser details, although the film, to its credit, does address this in a humorous throwaway line of dialogue. At any rate, Langdon has barely awakened from his semi coma when an assassin attempts to put him out to pasture in the hospital setting the wheels in motion for Langdon and his doctor (Felicity Jones) to make their escape. They remain on the run for the majority of the first hour of the film in repetitive action sequences that have been better executed in other films of a similar nature.

Just about the time that the film begins to fall into the doldrums a plot twist at around the seventy five minute mark livens things up and sends the movie in a different direction. Plot twists and the identity of the film’s true villain are revealed, although it’s only enough to sustain a moderate level of interest but that’s about it.

Ron Howard, who also helmed the other two pictures in the Langdon series, is behind the camera on this one as well. He does the best he can with the material but that’s not saying much considering how old hat a story involving bio terrorism is at this point. The trouble is that Howard is, as a rule, only as good as his material. Inferno, as a result, is a mildly involving but generally lackluster affair and it will interesting to see if audiences turn up to see this newest entry nearly a decade after the last one appeared. I know I’m curious.

Photo: Tom Hanks & Felicity Jones in Inferno

Questions or comments? Write Adam at filmfan1970@hotmail.com.

Movie is playing at the Carmike in Hickory and all around the area.