Good editing and visuals, but mediocre narrative.
Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy with no idea why or how he ended up there. Shortly after waking up, he is chased by Vayentha (Ana Ularu), and with the help of Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), the doctor attending to him, they escape. Caught in a race to find a deadly virus created by Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), Langdon and Brooks are chased by many parties involved. Directed by Ron Howard.
With no background into the stories (books nor prequels), I went into this blind. While not a terrible movie, it wasn’t very good. A movie is good when you don’t notice it is a movie, and I noticed it here. Perhaps it’s because I’m beginning to notice more technical aspects of a film which is why I pay attention to things others usually wouldn’t.
There were two main issues I had with the film. The first, is the very obvious crew moving in the crowd behind the two protagonists. When they are supposedly in Venice, there is a front shot of Langdon and Brooks as they talk and move through the crowd. The camera follows them, occasionally shifting angles, but moving along as they do. What is noticeable here, is that the people in the background match the pace of the two, though with some pretending to move in different directions. This stood out to me as a crowd of extras or crew members creating a border around the actor and actress. Perhaps to shield from the public, I’m not sure, but it stood out.
Secondly, the acting and screenwriting at some points just didn’t feel very natural. Hanks and Jones do their roles well enough, and the chemistry between them is pretty solid. However, there are some instances from supporting actors that felt awkward or forced. This could be because of the script, which made it feel like they were trying too hard to be serious. As well, the characters weren’t very interesting. They each had their set roles, and while there was some suspense and confusion as to who was good or bad, that cleared up as the story went along.
The only character I wished I knew more about, and which was a great addition to the film, was that of Harry Sims – played by Irrfan Khan. He was a very interesting character with many depths to him, and Khan gave a great portrayal. From perceived evil mastermind, to amicable ally, and with his cool and composed face, he is definitely the one to watch for. Forget the rest of the narrative, Khan (as Sims) should have his own standalone film!
Moving on, the visuals at the beginning are quite gruesome, but provide some initial intrigue. However, these images are repeated one too many times during the duration of the film and got a little boring to watch. Overall though, the visuals and scenes in general, are well edited. This wasn’t enough to save the film though. The narrative goes around in circles too many times that it lost its suspense. Also, it could also be that I am not much a fan of this type of genre, which is why I thought they were trying too hard. Well, music is from Hans Zimmer, so you know that aspect will be good.
Not a bad watch, but I wouldn’t watch it again.
PROS: Scenery, editing, visuals
CONS: Obvious crowd crew, storytelling, trying too hard
I give this a 6/10.
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