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George At 

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I love the Dan Brown "Robert Langdon" book series. They're fast, fun and exciting reads, filled with art history, religious/political turmoil and enough globe hopping for ten Ian Fleming Bond novels.

For the past decade, Director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks have brought Langdon adventures to the screen in big budget, long film versions that I've always really enjoyed.

But neither 2006's "The Da Vinci Code" or 2009's "Angels and Demons" nailed the driven, suspenseful page-turner aspect of the novels they were based on.

Good news Langdon fans. INFERNO nails it.

Tom Hanks returns as our hero, waking up in a hospital in Florence knowing who he is, but completely blanked on the past two days.

He's got a bullet graze head wound, massive migraine like headaches, ongoing visions of a fiery hell on Earth and one of the best trauma nurses on the planet, Dr. Sienna Brooks, perfectly played by Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Star Wars: Rogue One).

Almost immediately, a female motorcycle cop with the intensity of a Terminator walks into the hospital and stars blasting it apart, gunning for Langdon and anyone in her way.

Sienna drags Langdon to safety and they begin a superb unraveling of Robert's memory in a quest to solve why he's under attack and why he has several strange clues in his pockets.

At the same time, as Langdon begins to piece his world together, Billionaire Environmental extremist Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) leads public talks on the need to "cull the planet" cutting explosive population by any means necessary to save Mother Earth.

In the films first three minutes, he leaps to his death in the middle of Florence, spinning into effect a massive global conspiracy to unleash a new black plague on the Earth to cut her inhabitants by half.

As you might expect, that conspiracy and Langdon's quest soon merge, with our professor and world renown cryptologist unraveling clue after clue on a trail to stop the release of the superbug.

What you might not expect is how fast two hours can go in a movie theatre. Hanks is, as always, perfect. He's a bit older and a bit heavier, with less memory but more drive as his brain starts firing back up with more details that serve as clues to move forward.

The rest of the cast is excellent.

Irrfan Khan, after a great turn as Jurassic World's owner Masrani, provides real spark, intelligence and personality as shady mega-wealthy Harry Sims. Sims runs a government size stealth organization at the service of the highest bidder.

His dialogue is so damn smart and witty, it's a real bright spot of the film and the terrific screenplay adaption of Brown's book by David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, War of the Worlds).

One of the film's brightest spots is Sidse Babett Knudsen as World Health Organization leader Elizabeth Sinskey.

With a romantic past with Langdon and hard to define allegiances in the unwinding conspiracy, her moments with Hanks are well acted and carry real emotional weight.

Thank heavens for once the story doesn't force our middle age Hanks into a relationship with Jones' young doctor. Hanks and Knudsen have real chemistry, making the final conclusion even more suspenseful in its unveiling.

Hans Zimmer's score keeps all the city hopping, street running, art world jumping global action flying forward and Director Howard brings some real visual treats to the story. His visions of Dante's hell brought to Italy are startling.

Many of the camera angles and framing choices bring fresh perspective to what could have been trite pursuits in lesser hands, Howard and Hanks have an easy rapport after three films and it shows.

This is, for me, by FAR the best of the Langdon films. For the first time, you can feel that page-turning, propulsive drive that Dan Brown creates on the page in this fast-paced, suspenseful and enjoyable film version.

INFERNO blazes with an A.

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