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Despite the lukewarm reception of both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, this year saw Ron Howard bring us yet another instalment based on Dan Brown's popular series of novels. Inferno continues Robert Langdon's (Tom Hanks) quest to save the world through running around museums and solving obscure historical puzzles.

We first meet Langdon as he wakes up in hospital following some kind of accident he can't remember. His vision blurred and memory fuzzy due to head trauma, he is led out of the hospital by Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) who sees an assassin heading her patient's way. Strange, apocalyptic dreams and a hidden item lead Langdon and Brooks to slowly uncover the truth behind a mystery linked to Dante's Inferno. The real challenge for Robert Langdon this time is having to try and stop a potential terrorist plot despite not knowing who to trust because of partial amnesia. This being a Ron Howard film, it is competently made: the tense hospital sequence and Langdon's Hellish nightmares are particularly effective. Tom Hanks' performance doesn't exactly stand out but even Hanks at his most restrained can still keep a movie afloat so he's reliably decent here.

Unfortunately, this is easily the weakest film in the franchise and if you weren't sold on the idea of yet another cinematic Dan Brown adaptation before, then it's unlikely Inferno will convince you otherwise. In terms of plot, this is a predictable mix of a tired old doomsday machine scenario, whatever happened in the last two films and thriller clich├ęs. Most of the twists can be seen coming a mile away (sometimes even further) and the whole museum-hopping gimmick feels rather weak at this point, not to mention irrelevant. As does the Dante's Inferno theme, by the way, which could be replaced by any other historical work of art or deleted entirely and the story wouldn't miss it. This is a mostly dull retread which could have been made interesting had the side characters been at least fun (see Ian McKellen in The Da Vinci Code) but Felicity Jones looks frankly miserable throughout and understandably so.

While Dan Brown's novels and even the first two films are entertaining faux-historical romps, this trilogy failed to rise above average three times in a row and Inferno is frankly below par so it might be time for Ron Howard to wrap it up and move on to worthier projects.

Arrested Development movie, anyone?

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