Euro art-history thriller fails to drum up excitement, or make much sense either
Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard jump aboard the history-mystery train yet again for this third adaptation of a Dan Brown page-turner, although it's probably only recommended for franchise addicts.
Robert Langdon (Hanks, looking a bit bored by the whole shebang), whizzes around Florence, Venice and Istanbul, suffering from amnesia and trying to locate a biological bomb powerful enough to kill huge swathes of the world population, which has been hidden away by a now-deceased madman eco-scientist. Along the way he's helped by Felicity Jones' brainy doctor, but hindered by an assassin and, believe it or not, members of the World Health Organisation.
It's an almighty mess of a movie, fast-paced but never gripping, with a plot that, perhaps, makes more sense in a novel than onscreen. It didn't exactly set the box office alight, either, so don't hold your breath for a fourth flick in the series.
Picture: We were very impressed by Sony's UHD release of previous series entry Angels and Demons, and this platter continues the studio's good work, with a 4K HDR image that appears sharp and punchy, but naturalistic rather than overcooked. There's no overt colour-grading here, outside of Langdon's dream sequences, and peak highlights are subtle instead of retina-popping. The encode easily picks out the textures in the brickwork of Florence buildings and Hanks' pock-marked cheeks. It's the sort of image that 4K adopters have been demanding; the 1080p version, meanwhile, is impressive, but plays second fiddle in the clarity stakes and feels a little flat in comparison to its HDR counterpart.
Picture rating: 5/5
Audio: There's a surprisingly inventive Dolby Atmos mix here, with the soundfield littered with steered effects and ambient-setting details, plus judicious use of LFE to heighten dramatic moments. Dialogue is high in the mix, and Hans Zimmer's score sounds wonderfully rich. The Full HD disc houses a 5.1 DTS-HD MA track.
Audio rating: 4.5/5
Extras: Sony adopts a similar template for this release to The Magnificent Seven, so the 4K disc houses nothing beyond 'Moments' with the remaining stuff is split across the 1080p feature disc and a bonus Blu-ray: these include a collection of seven extended/deleted scenes, and mildly diverting featurettes looking at shooting in Europe, Hanks and Jones' characters, filming the dream sequences and more. Be warned that one of the featurettes is packed with spoilers...
Extras rating: 2.5/5
We say: Even a first-class 4K release can't save this frantic mystery flick from feeling like a let-down.
Inferno, Sony Pictures, Ultra HD Blu-ray & All-region BD, £30
HCC VERDICT: 3/5
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