HomeStandard PeopleInferno fails to rise to the occasion

Inferno fails to rise to the occasion

THE third film adaption of American author Dan Brown’s 2013 novel Inferno was released this weekend, with it attempting to ride on the successes of the previous films.

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Tom Hanks stars in Inferno
Tom Hanks stars in Inferno

But to recap last weekend, Boo! A Madea Halloween beat Jack Reacher: Never Go Back when it debuted with $28,5 million compared to the latter’s $22,87 million in the United States.

As of Wednesday, Boo! A Madea Hallowean sat on a box office haul of $33,92 million in the United States for a global haul of $34,13 million. On that same day, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back sat on $28,67 million in that country for a global box office haul of $60,19 million.

Ster Kinekor Eastgate, in keeping abreast with the international rollout of American films, is showing the Tom Cruise film Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and will show Inferno.

Critics have cited the three-year gap between the Boo! A Madea Hallowean and its predecessor A Madea Christmas in 2013 as the reason behind the opening box office weekend increased anticipation for another.

However, though Jack Reacher: Never Go Back lost to the Tyler Perry film, it was leading the box office table this week but faces stiff competition from Inferno.

Inferno, as stated earlier, is the third book written by Brown released in 2013 and preceded by The Da Vinci Code (2003) as well as Angels and Demons (2000).

The film sees the return of the titular character of the books and films, Robert Langdon played by Hollywood veteran and two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks.

Langdon, from a novel and film series, is a Harvard University professor of religious iconology and symbology.

Symbology is a fictional field related to the study of historic symbols, which is not methodologically connected to the actual discipline of semiotics.

In the third outing, Langdon awakens in a hospital room in Florence, Italy, with no memory of what has transpired over the last few days and is plagued with visions of a scorched earth. He discovers he had suffered amnesia from a bullet wound to the head before a female assassin Vayentha, played by Ana Ularu, arrives and helps him escape to her apartment.

It is there that Langdon finds all is not what it seems and tries to recover his memory, which brings him into a larger conspiracy involving a virus with the potential to wipe out human kind. The virus is backed by people who are trying to carry out a prophecy relating to the end of the world.

The level of mystery and intrigue has been raised to the maximum in this latest installment and sees intense suspense from start to finish. The only weakness for the film is the convoluted plot that does little to fully explain the deep psychology behind the film and general narrative.

It is always going to be tough to tell a deep psychological story without fully explaining it in the first place as the mystery unravels.

International critic website Rotten Tomatoes has awarded the film a 22% rating.

But, Hanks performance as well as the stellar castmates make the film watchable.

Unlike how the negative reviews of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons did little to the films’ box office takings, early estimates for Inferno have projected a lower opening than the previous two films.

Inferno follows 2009’s Angel and Demons, which opened lower than its predecessor with $133,37 million in the United States for a global box office tally of $485,93 million. Three years prior in 2006, the film The Da Vinci Code raked in the highest in terms of box office, with a United States run of $217,53 million for a global haul of $758,23 million.

The Robert Langdon series has been met with much controversy mainly from religious groups as the series delves deep into debunking biblical beliefs.

For example, The Da Vinci Code — the most controversial in the series — implies Jesus Christ had a child with Mary Magdalene with descendants still living among us today.

It cites hidden messages in paintings of one of the world’s greatest painters Leonardo Da Vinci as the reason.

As such, the waning mainstream movie audience to the film franchise that has already grossed well over $1 billion is slowing down despite the presence of Hanks.

Projections from box office tracker, Box Office Mojo, indicate Inferno will open around $25 million, well below the $77 million opening for Da Vinci Code as well as the $46,2 million opening for Angels and Demons, proving the declining support for the film.

As stated earlier, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back reclaimed the box office but will be pushed to second on the box office table with Boo! A Madea Hallowean expected at number three.

Last week also saw the prequel Ouija: Origin of Evil to 2014’s Ouija which, though universally panned, grossed $103,59 million from a $5 million budget and is quickly fading from the box office table.

An Ouija board is a popular board in the United States with letters, numbers and other signs around its edge, to which a planchette, movable pointer, or upturned glass moves, supposedly in answer to questions from people at a seance. It is believed that the people can talk to the dead using the board.

Ouija tells the story of a group of kids who find an Ouija board which allows a spirit to possess anyone who uses it. In the 2014 film, the possession led to a lot of deaths until the spirit was defeated in the end when it was thrown into a fire and seemingly destroyed.

Ouija: Origin of Evil acts as prequel to the origins of the Ouija board. In it, a woman by the name Alice Zander, played by Elizabeth Reaser, and her daughter Doris (Lulu Wilson) were con-artists pretending to be spirit mediums until a bad spirit found its way through the board into Doris.

The prequel story was a huge step up from the previous film with a rating of 80% from Rotten Tomatoes, a significant improvement from Ouija’s paltry 7%.

What worked well is that the film develops the unique premise showing the origins of the board, unlike the first film which did not offer much background.

Elsewhere, The Accountant is proving to have legs as it sat on a box office haul of $51,54 million as of Wednesday in the US. Its star, Ben Affleck, is finding renewed fame after his highly-praised performance as the new Batman actor in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Inferno is the only major release this weekend.

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