Director: Ron Howard (2016) BBFC cert: 12A
Hellfire and brimstone are as nothing to the purgatory of watching Tom Hanks stumble about Italy as the bible bothering super sleuth, Robert Langdon.
Returning for his third outing in the role, it’s an apocalyptic adventure every bit as preposterous as the previous ones, The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels And Demons (2009). Possibly even more so.
A mad scientist considers the human race to be a virus and so has plans to release a disease which will wipe out half the planet’s population.
Langdon begins the film in a state of amnesia like a geriatric Jason Bourne. After that the film plays out like a James Bond adventure from the late Roger Moore era.
Ineffectual henchmen wander sumptuous locations while a powerful covert organisation patrols the globe in a supertanker. Sadly missing the daft innuendo, knowing camp and reassuring winks to the audience, you’ll be praying for the halcyon days when Moore’s eyebrows would go off half cocked.
It’s a divinely ridiculous mashup of pedestrian shoot-outs and discussion of the renaissance poet Dante, whose death mask is missing from a museum. Langdon is the number one suspect and together with his doctor he must evade the authorities and save the world.
Dr. Sienna Brooks is played by young Felicity Jones and thankfully her character has a grand-daughterly relationship with Langdon. Fortunately our hero’s love interest is more age appropriate and is played with grace by glamourous Danish actress, Sidse Babett Knudsen.
There are visions of hell on earth, conspiracies abound, priceless art is destroyed and Langdon has time for a nice cup of coffee. Director Ron Howard gives the film as much energy as possible and astonishingly everyone involved keeps a straight face.
Don’t worry if you miss this apocalypse, no doubt Brown will be back with another one soon.