Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Inferno (2016)

Robert Langdon is back on the big screen! And the timing couldn't have been better because I just finished racing around the mall, solving the crime of the Century with friends.

This time he found himself in Florence, in the midst of a race against time. A genius megalomaniac who believed that the only way to solve environmental problems is by killing off the human population. To do that, he placed a pathogenic agent somewhere in the world. It is up to Professor Langdon, with his knowledge of Renaissance art and symbolism, to find where the pathogen was... before it spread out.

But isn't finding pathogens and centres of epidemics the task of the World Health Organisation? And why get a Symbologist to do the searching?

Apparently, the evil genius had left clues in case he got himself killed before the time to release the pathogen of mass destruction arrived. These clues are in the form of writings in artworks, invisible to the uninitiated to the works of Dante Alighieri and Botticelli (hence the movie's title Inferno). The World Health Organisation did get wind of the Dante reference, which was why they took Professor Langdon in. However, a few other people had vested interests: the evil genius' girlfriend (the intended audience of the clues) and a WHO agent who went rogue; this guy wanted to profit from the virus if he could get it before everyone else did. 

And poor Robert had to wake up in a hospital, in Florence, without a memory of why he was there and how he got there. To solve the mystery of the hidden pathogen, he first had to get his memory jogged... by jogging all over Florence.

The movie followed Professor Langdon from Florence (where Dante's death mask was supposed to be), to Venice (where the horses' heads were), and then to Istanbul. That's where the pathogen of mass human destruction was hidden, deep in the cisterns of Hagia Sophia. The pathogen was eventually contained and the world would never know how close it was to the annihilation of the human race.

What I noticed about the movie was the superficial reference to Dante and to the Inferno. However, I haven't finished reading the actual book (Dante's book, not Dan's) because it was too scary; Dante vividly painted a picture of the seven levels of Hell. So any reference to the text made by the movie is lost to me. This is in contrast with the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons because I didn't have to know much about da Vinci and the other artists featured... The focus in the two films was on symbols and codes.

Now looking forward to The Lost Symbol and Origin.