Inferno: an intellectual fail (a very late review)
Also published on my Wordpress blog.
Murders. Lives at stake. Art history puzzles. Ask Robert Langdon for help. Accompanied by a pretty lady. Lots of actions. People die anyway. Unexpected bad guys. Problem’s solved in less than 24 hours. Just another Robert Langdon story.
I haven’t read the novel. Is it a disappointing film adaptation? Can’t say. A disappointing stand-alone film? It is. I was initially intrigued. Our hero suffers concussion, memory loss and visions of hell, inspired by Dante’s Inferno. The film sucked me in. Now, I regret the immersion.
It’s just another mindless action film. Imaginary physical actions mean nothing to me. But, the film’s other aspects do. Mystery. Surrealism. The grotesque. I’m a sucker for them. They help me understanding the world and myself…and they disappear halfway. But, one thing disappoints me even more: unlike the previous films, Inferno isn’t thematic.
The Da Vinci Code condemns deceitful religious authorities; the film shares the condemnation. Angels & Demons discusses “religion vs. science”; the film doesn’t discuss it, even though it’s still there. Both deal with the (in)validity of religious truths. I love having such discussions, taboo or not. That’s why TDVC and A&D feel personal for me.
Inferno’s villain believes killing most of mankind is good for its own sake; less greed, better earth. The future of earth and humanity. It’s both compelling and personal. I condemn his method, but I share his cause. The film has the opportunity to push a discussion. But nooooo! Let’s demonise it and block any discussions! Breed like rabbits! Fuck the earth! Human lives matter! TRUMP 2016!
*takes a deep breath*
In the west, religion is no longer a taboo topic. Hollywood indulges the trend. But, the idea of population control is still sinful. Many feel it demonises procreation and even demands our extinction! So desperate to keep their views unchallenged. Again, Hollywood indulges.
Don’t get me wrong. I love low-brow entertainment; hate to be thoughtful all the time. But, if it can get deeper, do it! Yes, the deeps are dangerous, dark and have grotesque inhabitants…and that’s exactly why you must explore it! Confront the harsh environment and ‘twisted’ creatures. That’s how you grasp life. That’s how you learn. Life’s not all about the comfort of the shallows.
The film doesn’t even need a lengthy discussion. Just have a character that asks “What if the villain’s right? What if we’re wrong?”. Just bring up the questions. The audience would be exposed to a conversation starter, albeit subtle. It would also encourage them be less black-and-white. I seriously hope the novel is unlike the film.
Despite his poor writing skills, Dan Brown brings intellectual and emotional depth to TDVC and A&D. If Inferno is just like the film, it bertrays the entire Robert Langdon series. I hope it’s not true. It comforts me that profound low-brow entertainment exists.
You may ask why overpopulation is personal for me. Well, I’m interested in it; I see it as an actual problem. But, as I said, it’s still a taboo. I’ve been accused of misanthropy simply for bringing it up. Someone also said passing our genes is more valuable than environmental liveability. Hard to have reasoned and civilised discussions about it. But, it’s not all about overpopulation.
I’m also interested in other topics in which I have controversial stances on. Controversial as in mine can’t be put in any boxes. That’s enough for people to label me as an extremist. I know we can’t blame such dangerous mentality on one thing. But, I believe pop culture is a significant factor. Now, I’m ending it with a potentially controversial statement:
Pop culture must have a sense of social responsibility. Pop culture and everything that reaches the masses.