New Dan Brown thriller is less than thrilling

by Caroline Favret, ’18

For fans of the Dan Brown novels, Tom Hanks again stars as symbologist Robert Langdon.  As in director Ron Howard’s earlier movies “The Davinci Code” and “Angels & Demons”, Langdon is being wildly chased around Europe.  This time, he’s racing to save the world from a lethal virus created by deranged millionaire Martin Zobrist (Ben Foster).

The plot opens in Florence, Italy where Zobrist is running from villains who are after the location of his virus.  The scenery and pursuit are gripping, and Zobrist’s untimely suicide is a nice hook to draw viewers in.

Following this, Langdon wakes up with amnesia in a hospital bed, coincidentally in Florence.  He has suffered a bullet wound to the head, and begins to have vivid visions of the end of the world, which proves to be the most captivating scene of the opening.  These dreams are interrupted by gunshots, and Dr. Sienna Jones (Felicity Jones) whisks Langdon away to the safety of her apartment.

The opening is pleasantly confusing and upbeat, yet this doesn’t last.  His amnesia adds another layer, as he’s normally admired for his sharp thinking and quick wit when it comes to puzzles.

The plot develops compellingly enough, wrought with images of Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell.  Again, there is a highly valuable artifact that must be protected at all costs.  However, true to other Dan Brown works, there is a predictable twist about two-thirds of the way through the storyline.  After this, the movie becomes far less engaging because it’s evident Langdon will come out on top.

Historic Italian locations keep viewers interested if the repetitive chases become too flat, and Tom Hanks is of course good per usual.  Watch it if you want, but those who have seen “The Davinci Code” aren’t missing out.  This one is a must-see only at dollar theatres or on demand.