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Stars: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ida Darvish

Director: Ron Howard

Here's a load of old malarkey and no mistake. Both author Dan Brown and star Hanks seem to be tiring of their protagonist, symbology professor Robert Langdon; this new adventure has none of the intricacy or shock values of their previous ventures, The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.

Even if you can fathom it, the plot makes little sense, although director Howard does keep it going at a good clip, apart from a slow passage between Hanks and Knudsen towards the end. The first hour is certainly fast and furious: scenario has Langdon sustaining a blow to the head in Massachusetts and waking up in a hospital bed in Florence, tended by wide-eyed Dr Sienna Brooks (a desperately miscast Jones). The two are soon on the run together, two steps ahead of mysterious forces.

In a separate incident, warped genius Bertrand Zobrist (Foster), forever warning about the dangers of global over-population, is cornered by a sinister agent (Sy) and throws himself to his death. Seems he has invited a plague virus which will wipe out half the world's population and facilitate a fresh start. And others are willing to see his fiendish plans brought to fruition.

No, I didn't believe it either, especially with such dialogue as 'He has the Faraday point' and 'Humanity is the disease, Inferno is the cure,' decorating a nonsensical plot which revolves around Dante, his paintings and a mask of his features which has been stolen (we never do learn what happened to the chap who pocketed it).

The action globe-trots from Venice to Istanbul, the inevitable twist is a surprise and the watery climax is quite excitingly staged. But enough, already, of Langdon meddling with his medieval mysteries. A plague on all their houses.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour (unspecified).
119 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 10 Oct 2016