Eppler: Even Hanks can't save inane 'Inferno'

Eppler: Even Hanks can't save inane 'Inferno'

"Inferno" is the second sequel in the film series based on the Robert Langdon books by Dan Brown which began with "The Da Vinci Code." "Inferno" wound up opening behind "Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween," which was in its second week of release. That all but ensures this series is finished.

Because of Tom Hanks' brilliant performance in "Sully" that we saw last month along with so many others in his career, one of the greatest actors of our time can be allowed a paycheck movie that shoots in some nice vacation spots now and then. 

Yes, I'm letting Hanks off the hook for "Inferno" - a silly movie far beneath his talents that requires him to do and say some inane things. The movie relies on selective amnesia. Symbologist Robert Langdon (Hanks) wakes up in the hospital with an apparent blow to the head and no memory of the last 48 hours. But he figures out pretty quick people are trying to kill him.

Felicity Jones is a young doctor who decides to help Langdon and even go on the run with him because reasons and they find Langdon has been up to some mischief. As with many amnesia movies, Langdon suddenly remembers things when it's convenient to move the plot along. He can't remember the word for "coffee" or his middle name, but he remembers all his studies of Dante.

So "Inferno" plays like a scholarly "Hangover" movie where the characters run, stop to talk philosophers, and run some more while figuring out a mystery.

Director Ron Howard shoots the action capably, and the locations in Italy are gorgeously photographed. But the overly convoluted screenplay is a real drag.

I barely remember the first "Da Vinci Code" sequel, "Angels and Demons," but "Inferno" is bad enough to stick in the mind - which is worse than being forgettable.

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