Amid the infernal hope that Sony might ever be capable of constructing a successful franchise comes Inferno. As Robert Langdon himself grows seemingly more and more tired, we accompany him on his descent into a hellish slumber, with Ron Howard's never-more-workmanlike direction ably navigating our way. The silliest thing about Inferno is that it actually trims out much of the overt silliness of its two predecessors, resulting in a drier, less distinctive thriller, although one that still makes time for such cracking quips as "Are we in the wrong basilica?" It's in this pallid picture of perfunctory chase scenes and repetitive logical leaps that Dan Brown's story assumes such a particularly infuriating quality, its incessant twists and baffling backstory forming a narrative design so convoluted it almost seems to be intentionally alienating its audience, that we might better settle into the film and ignore its fundamental ridiculousness. That's easy enough, since Inferno isn't exactly an awful work of craft, and it maintains sufficient intrigue and preposterousness to make the experience more agreeable than it deserves to be. All returning cast and crew members, and many newcomers, appear on autopilot here, though Irrfan Khan has far more fun than he should with the film's
best only decent role. And the filming locations of Florence, Venice and Istanbul mostly Budapest, actually, are undeniably ravishing. Yes, they're in the wrong basilica, and the wrong city, and I'm in the wrong screen.