The third movie inspired by the Robert Langdon ‘series’ written by Dan Brown was recently released. As a fan of the books and the two previous movies Angels and Demons and the classic The Da Vinci Code, I went to see it with some friends.
While Inferno is technically the fourth book starring Langdon, The Lost Symbol is not as action packed and, to put it bluntly, not as interesting as the other books. So I was not surprised that they skipped making a movie based on that book.
The movie is not a bad movie-it is entertaining with beautiful cinematography, a fantastic musical score and has a well rounded plot and characters. The ending is how you would expect a movie like this to end-they stopped the release of the disease, the romance subplot got some closure and all of the loose ends were cleaned up.
But that is exactly the problem.
Inferno was a book that made me think. It has such a serious and dark theme and introduced an interesting and morally questioning thought experiment. Would you kill half of the population to allow the human race to survive into the distant future and provide a more sustainable society due to the problems created by over population. At the end of the book, despite the best efforts of the protagonists, the virus was released. And rather then kill the population, the virus sterilised one third of the worlds population to slow growth to a more manageable rate. Throughout the book I was confronted by the fact that our way of life and society is creating so many problems, and something as serious and major as what is proposed in the book may be the only option, however ethically wrong it is. The movie raised these important issues, and included the signature Dan Brown action and history scavenger hunt/puzzles.
The movie only briefly touched on these issues- and completley changed the ending of the book. Gone was the release of the virus that sterilized one third of the Earth. Instead we are led to believe the virus was to kill half of the words population, though this was not confirmed (however the sterilization virus may have been implied in some minor dialogue, and again this was not confirmed). There was no redemption arc for Sienna, and the major plot twists and plot points were excluded from the film.
I enjoyed the movie. I probably would have been OK with it as it is if i had not read the book and known what it may have been. Throughout the movie i was waiting for the build up and the massive plot twists that were such pivotal moments in the book. When they did not come i was so disappointed, and i even turned to my friends and asked ‘I thought the virus was released in the book. What they hell happened in the movie?’
The acting was great, music was great, action was great and it was a perfectly enjoyable movie. But as a book to movie adaptation that had such high hopes to put an interesting and thought provoking book on screen, it was a let down.