'Inferno' is another terrible movie in the Dan Brown trilogy, but at least Tom Hanks' hairdo has somewhat improved

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Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an earlier review that was written on 10.10.16

I don't really have much to say about Ron Howard's third film in the Dan Brown trilogy, after "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels & Demons." I mean, there is an audience for these movies. The first two made a lot of money, but I just don't get it. These are, at their core, just really silly movies, with Tom Hanks donning absurd hair plugs, or is it a wig? Although in this new film he actually has a decent haircut. I will give you that moment for moment this might be the 'best' film of the trilogy, but what exactly does that mean? Not really a compliment. What really bothers me is that Ron Howard is a decent filmmaker that shouldn't be wasting his time with these, but, as they say, money talks and he seems to be fully invested in these films.

Howard didn't have much success with his last film, "In the Heart of the Sea" which kept getting delayed until the studio just decided to release the damn thing. He is a competent director and I do like a few of the film's he's released over the years, especially the underrated boxing movie "Cinderella Man," which Universal Pictures badly managed at the time. It is easily the best film of his career, but, then again, what does that really say? Even though he's been somewhat competent over the years ("Cinderella Man," "Apollo 13," "A Beautiful Mind," "Rush") he's also released a lot of junk as director ("The Dilemma," "The Grinch" "EdTV," "Far and Away")

"Inferno" is, in essence, a murder-mystery set up as a tour-hopping Euro-trip. Our hero Robert Langdon wakes up in Italy with a major case of Amnesia, he has a gash on his forehead and needs to retrace his steps. Cue in Dr. Sienna Brooks, a much welcomed Felicity Jones, who teams up with Langdon to uncover a global threat of some sort based on clues from Dante's Inferno. This threat could wipe out almost half of the world's population! Shock. Never for a moment are you on the edge of your seat here, but having Howard directing and Hanks acting does prove that even with top-notch talent you can't really do much with an overcooked screenplay and story. I do think the series is making considerable progress. The first film was 150 minutes, the second was 140 minutes and this one is just over 120. They are trying to tighten things up and making progress with Hanks' hair, what more could we expect at this point? [D+]