Return of the Harvard Symbologist: First Look at “Inferno.”

Dan Tagtmeier, Staff Reporter

In 2000, author Dan Brown introduced the world to Robert Langdon, a Harvard symbologist who embarks on plenty of nail-biting adventures.

Langdon first appeared in “Angels and Demons,” a novel that is about Langdon saving four cardinals from being brutally killed by the Illuminati, a secret society that wants to destroy the Vatican.

In 2003, Langdon unraveled a secret that could destroy the Catholic Church in one of the most unforgettable novels of all time: “The Da Vinci Code.”

In 2009, Langdon found out a hidden secret involving the Capitol Building and a group called the Freemasons in “The Lost Symbol.”

And finally in 2013, Robert Langdon was hunted by assassins over a mystery involving “Dante’s Inferno” in “Inferno.”

Over the course of those years, two of these novels have been adapted into exciting films with Ron Howard in the directing chair and Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon. But a third film will now join the other two: “Inferno.”

It’s been seven years since “Angels and Demons” came onto the big screen, and 10 years since “The Da Vinci Code.” But this long time span might be a home run, and here are the reasons why:
Like I said before, they’ve had plenty of time: 2006’s “The Da Vinci Code” was heavily panned by tons of critics. Claiming that it was “ludicrous” or a “deep-dyed disappointment,” its 25 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with more than 166 rotten reviews was not a good sign. But hey, the film still managed to pull almost $800 million at the box office despite receiving terrible reviews.

Then 2009’s “Angels and Demons” pulled almost $500 million at the box office, and this is funny because it has a 37 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, showing that this was the better one.

Ron Howard and company were smart not to create another film adaption until now because if they did, it probably would’ve been at the same Rotten Tomatoes score as the other two. It’s better to take a break and plan out everything perfectly for “Inferno.”

“Inferno” has a stellar cast: Thankfully, Tom Hanks returns as the boss Robert Langdon because there’s nobody else who is more perfect for the role than he is (and he does rock the long hair; look at the “Hanx flow!”).

Backing him up is Academy Award-nominee Felicity Jones (nominated for “The Theory of Everything”) playing the intellectual sidekick Dr. Sienna Brooks. And we also have “Jurassic World’s” Omar Sy and Irrfan Khan. Khan portrays “The Provost,” a leader of an agency that is working with the main villain named Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), and Sy plays one of “The Provost’s” agents named Bruder. Oh my, this is an interesting bunch of actors they have here.

They skipped “The Lost Symbol” (for now): Even though it’s my favorite novel out of all of the Robert Langdon adventures, I’m glad Ron Howard and everyone on the team decided to cancel this project (for the time being) and put “Inferno” onto the screen.

It’s been a long gap between Langdon films, and maybe a whole lot of non-readers won’t flock to watch a film with hardly any hardcore action in it. And “The Lost Symbol” is remarkable, but for right now, Robert Langdon needs to come back with a strong punch.

“Inferno” has strong controversy: “The Da Vinci Code” and “Inferno” share a common controversy that needs to be debated upon. Da Vinci Code talks about how Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene, and “Inferno”  talks about how a majority of the human population must die in order to thrive and evolve. It’s hard to explain, but after this film, you will not forget it for a while.

It’s set in Florence this time: Instead of Paris and Rome, Langdon is exploring beautiful Florence and Istanbul. And this is a perfect setting because of the spectacular history this place has had.

With the whole Dante’s Inferno aspect and locations like the Palazzo Vecchio, this will be the one film this year that I look forward to seeing on the IMAX screen.

   The trailer looks breathtaking: First things first, I HATE trailers. And this is because they completely ruin the film experience. But with “Inferno,” I’ve already read the novel and I know how the story plays out, so I’m fine with watching the trailer and seeing everything on screen.

So if I had to say one word about this trailer, I would say it’s mysterious.

Seeing Tom Hanks run around with a gorgeous companion gives me goosebumps as I feel a rush of pure excitement that I also felt from the previous two films.
 It’s better than “The Da Vinci Code”: As much as I loved the ending and concept to this novel/film, it wasn’t my favorite out of the series because its villain became all entirely too obvious. However, when I read “Inferno,” the entire book was a masterful work of historical fiction because it does not give the reader a clear concept of who’s who in this story. The reader is just along for the ride as Robert Langdon tries to fight his way to uncovering a diabolical scheme that will threaten the entire Earth.