Tom Hanks Is No James Bond; 'Inferno' Proves It

Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
"Inferno" (Sony Pictures)

In the right role, when Tom Hanks is good he is very, very good. In the wrong role, when he is bad he is terrible. "Scully" was the right role for Hanks - Academy Award nomination please. "Inferno" is the wrong role for Hanks - movie sinking like the Titanic. Hanks can play the good guy everyman, but he can not be James Bond. "Inferno" thinks Hanks as Professor Robert Langdon is James Bond.

Hanks performance is not the only thing wrong with "Inferno" but he is a major part of its ailments. There is also the fact audiences will feel they have come into the middle of the movie when it starts. Who is that man jumping off the tower? Who is that Tom Hanks looking guy in the hospital bed? Who is that medical person taking him out of the hospital" And how is that gown that always gapes open on me able to stay sealed?

Most of these get answered in the movie but by the time they do you have forgotten the questions, or forgotten to care about the questions. It is a convoluted muddled plot that taxes the brain and deadens the senses. Maybe, and that is a big maybe, if you have just left a "DaVinci Code"/"Angels and Demons" marathon you might have a clue as to what is going on. Or if you had sat down and read both of the books these movies were based upon you might feel a little enlightened. But who is going to do this?

Dan Brown's book was just as convoluted but somehow he managed to get the answers on the page in a quicker fashion, or so it seems in retrospect. Director Ron Howard appears to think the longer he drags it all out as a mystery the better the movie will be. Wrong guess, Opie. It just slugs its way forward one inch at a time.

Star of the moment Felicity Jones is in the film as an appeal to younger members of the audience. When the movie first starts you haver a quick, horrific thought that maybe this is Hanks' love interest in the movie. Thankfully that is not so. They are just buddies on the run together.

Then there is the case of Omar Sy. He came to prominence in a French film titled "The Intouchables." That film was exquisite and Sy was perfectly cast. It brought him to Hollywood's attention but they have never figured out how to use his talent in American movies. In this movie he is a man in pursuit of Hanks/Jones. We know no more about him at the end of the movie than we did at the start. C'mon folks, this fine actor deserves better.

The film is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.

Before I end this let me point out some things positive. The European scenery is beautiful as is the architecture. Plus, as always Hans Zimmer delivers a strong and supportive score. That's the end of things positive.

"Inferno" is a head scratcher combined with a fast paced adventure film. There are enough chases to fill a James Bond movie or two. Hanks is miscast and the script is muddled. Wrong actor, wrong script, wrong director - wrong movie!

I scored "Inferno" a hell-ish 4 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper