Robert Langdon is at it again in this thrilling mystery about a man who’s threating to kill off half of the global population.
Dan Brown is known for his controversial novels that reveal conspiracy theories that are more than just theories…they’re for real! Groups such as the Illuminati, the CIA, the NSA, and the Vatican are just a few of the institutions he includes in these novels. They reveal truths and hidden truths that the mainstream aren’t supposed to know, and presents them in a very thrilling way. As the reader/viewer, we follow the characters as they unfold the truths for themselves. Like the main characters, we are full of questions and are in awe once we have the answers. It’s a very compelling way to tell a story. Unravelling the mystery requires the brilliant mind of Dr. Robert Langdon, whose wealth of knowledge of ancient societies and classic art guide him towards the path to massive cover-ups and world-alternating plots. It’s through him and those around him that we discover what’s really going on behind the scenes. And it’s always something exciting. At this point in time, three of Dan Brown’s novels have made it to the big screen. They all star Tom Hanks as the talented and highly-educated Dr. Robert Langdon. In this review, we take a closer look at the third film in the series titled, ‘Inferno.’
The first two films were excellent stories about a man looking to unveil a cryptic mystery. Dr. Robert Langdon utilized his knowledge to discover large plots that have shaped the world into what it is today. Bringing the big truths or global deceptions to the masses has never been an easy task. These secrets have been well-kept in the dark, and those responsible will do whatever it takes to keep them there. The secret keepers will kill if the need arises. This means Dr. Langdon is always in danger. Thus, it’s no surprise when viewers find him in a dazed and confused state at the beginning of Inferno.
This film is not like the first two. It’s trippy, fast-paced, and touches on a much more modern topic: Global Over-Population. At first we know very little about what’s going on. Instead, we’re forced to unravel the events that led to Dr. Langdon receiving his traumatic head wound. So traumatic, in fact, he can’t remember the word for coffee! Nevertheless, we follow along helplessly, and in hopes that he’ll regain his memory. Dr. Langdon doesn’t even know why he’s in Italy! His last memory is sitting at a cafe, reading the paper. Next his mind is filled with terrible visions of death, destruction, flames, lava, screams of pain, ghouls, monsters, and even people walking around with their heads twisted backwards. It’s a horrifying sight to say the least. It looks like what some would call hell. What we discover is that it’s Dr. Langdon’s visual perception of Dante’s Inferno! But what does it mean? What was he looking for? Who was he meeting in Italy? And why the hell are the local Police trying to track him down and kill him!? These questions and more are what he and the viewer must figure out before it’s too late.
Eventually, we learn there’s a mad man Billionaire who hosts seminars on Over-population. Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) believes the world is in desperate need of a cleansing. He claims that in order to fix the issues like over-crowding, limited resources, and the inevitable explosion of the human population on Earth; there needs to be a catastrophe. Not just a terrorist attack that kills thousands and shocks the world though. He wants to rid the world of half the entire human race. This would fix so many problems, he believes. With his master plan in place, is there anyone who can stop him before it’s too late? As mentioned previously, we don’t know how Dr. Langdon has gotten mixed up in all this. All we know is that he’s there for a reason. It may be up to him to unravel the mystery of where and how this mass depopulation will take place.
Think Robert Langdon can figure out the mystery of the depopulation plan and prevent it from occurring before all hell breaks loose? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
Enough about that…let’s take a look at what this Blu-ray has to offer.
The menu design is rather simple and includes a snapshot of Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) running down a street. The menu options are listed along the bottom, and include: Play Movie, Languages, Scene Selections, and Special Features. The ‘Languages’ option allows viewers to choose the audio and subtitle tracks for the film. The ‘Audio’ tracks include: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Audio Descriptive Service, and Spanish 5.1. The ‘Subtitles’ consist of the same languages. This is rather slim when compared to most Blu-rays I’ve seen over the years. The ‘Scene Selection’ option displays all sixteen chapters at a time. Each one is numbered and includes a snapshot from the scene. Bookmarks can be added, viewed and deleted from this option as well.
Now let’s check out the Special Features included with this release!
– Extended & Deleted Scenes (27:19 HD): This is a lengthy feature that consists of several extended and deleted scenes. These include: Langdon’s visions of Hell, Langdon and Sienna fleeing the hospital, Zobrist’s full-length overpopulation speech, an extended ending scene, and much more. The extended opening and full overpopulation scenes are pretty cool to see. The fleeing from the hospital scene dragged on and on though. It’s no wonder why they trimmed it down. Nevertheless, if you enjoyed this film, it’s worth watching all of these. There are several subtle foreshadowing bits in these clips as well.
– Visions of Hell (5:35 HD): The cast and crew take a few moments to give a brief description of the film and the importance of Dante’s Inferno. Seeing Dante’s Inferno in cinematic form is pretty twisted. It has some cool behind-the-scenes footage in this clip as well.
– Inferno: Around the World (13:34 HD): It wouldn’t be a true Ron Howard/Dan Brown production if they didn’t go to the actual countries and facilities they reference in the story. This clip takes a closer look at where the cast and crew went to create this epic tale that blends the past and the present. This feature also includes a brief description of the primary characters seen in the film.
– A Look at Langdon (6:21 HD): While the previous clip provided a brief description of the Robert Langdon, this one digs a little deeper into his character.
– This is Sienna Brooks (5:48 HD): Sienna is an interesting character in this film. She’s one that’s not what she seems in the beginning. There are many layers to her, and this clip takes some time to explain why is turned out the way she did. She really wants to save Earth, and will do whatever it takes to accomplish this. Even if it’s questionable…
– The Billionaire Villain: Bertrand Zobrist (5:13 HD): This character is the ultimate villain in the story. He’s incredible wealthy, and wants to address the Earth’s cancer, which he claims is mankind. He’s incredibly intelligent, logical, and has the means to go after the issue of human overpopulation. He’s been altering the world of the impending doom, but his voice only goes so far. Thus, he’s forced to take action. This clip takes a closer look at how Zobrist became the villain in this story.
– Ron Howard, A Director’s Journal (10:02 HD): Director Ron Howard takes some time to talk about his personal journal. He utilizes social media to reach his fans, and to show the projects he’s working on. In this clip, Ron discusses why he does this personal journal. There’s also a bunch of B-roll footage to see in this clip. Howard gives a lot of praise to the cast and crew of the film. He also expressed how doing the third was just as exciting as doing the previous two Dan Brown adaptations.
– Previews: These are the trailers and clips seen at the beginning of the disc.
Now let’s take a look at the technical side of this release.
The 1080p HD image comes with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, so it’ll practically fill your entire HDTV screen. This transfer looks fantastic, and reveals a ton of detail in practically every shot. Close-ups are so crisp, viewers will be able to count the slight imperfections of the actors’ faces at times. The skin tones look great, and the lighting was top notch in this film. This can be seen in the high quality image in just about every scene. That said, this film is shot digitally, which is the first for the series at this time. This incredibly clarity also displays all sorts of details and textures of the buildings and pillars that surround the actors. The final scene in the film looks brilliant. This is a really great-looking image, folks.
With stellar image quality, one would expect the audio to be on the same page. This happens to be the case with this film for sure. The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track does a great job pulling the viewer into the action. The disorienting scenes of the Dante’s Inferno scenes are intensified by the accompanying acoustics it may surprise/disturb viewers by how creepy it sounds. The rear channels are utilized all the time, and consist of ambient sounds, background music, and are perfectly timed for tense action moments in the film. This is a great sounding transfer from beginning to end.
Overall, Inferno is a modern mystery thriller that’ll keep viewers guessing till the end. The action and pacing are more intense than the previous Dan Brown adaptations, but it’s a compelling story nonetheless. Robert Langdon has been a fun character to watch over the years, and I’m looking forward to the next adventure. He’s a lot like Indiana Jones, but instead from running from massive boulders and heart-snatching cult leaders; Langdon is a man of logic and science. He wants to unravel the mysteries of the world, and discern the reasons behind them. Once his adventure is over, he just goes back to teaching at the University. Now that’s classy, Dr. Langdon!
If you are a fan of the series, I’d suggest picking up this film. It’s entertaining enough and full of details one might miss, so it’s a good film to watch a few times over. If you are looking for a modern-day mystery, don’t hesitate to check out Inferno on Blu-ray.