This review must open with the confession that i have yet to read any of the Robert Langdon novels. I have attempted to read The Da Vinci Code as well as Inferno, the literary source of todays film, but have quickly given up out of sheer boredom. The cinematic adaptations have largely induced a similar reaction in me. Although it must be said that Angels and Demons did provide a chuckle at just how farcical the plot was.
The third film in the series is based on the fourth novel in the Robert Langdon quadrilogy, i imagine the next film will be the search for the movie adaption of the third book, which appears to have been buried somewhere between the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covonant. Inferno opens with public intellectual Bertrand Zobriest being pursued over the location of the eponymous virus Inferno, a plague which he created as a way of culling the over-populated planet, and the only person who can halt the deadly disease is cryptologist Robert Langdon. Unfortunatly Langdon is suffering from plot-convenient amnesia, this is a classic trope in which an undividual suffers severe memory-loss at moments when the plot requires it but is able to regain their memories at the precise point it is needed again. Langdon soon finds himself on a trail of clues related to the works of poet Dante Alighieri in a desperate attempt to contain the virus before it decimates the population.
For a series that really needs to lighten up a bit, the real problem with Inferno is that it is preposterously serious in its tone. Instead of being a some-what serious adventure across the planet, the film bores us with random hallucinations of the suffering of hell-bound souls, the dangers of overpopulation, and a convoluted plot involving the WHO and private agencies. Regardless the film will no doubt make a huge profit, and i am certain that The Lost Symbol will be appearing in cinemas soon, but the third film in the series does little to improve over the tedious formula of the last two installments.