(director: Ron Howard; screenwriters: David Koepp/based on the novel by Dan Brown; cinematographer: Salvatore Totino; editors: Dan Hanley, Tom Elkins; music: Hans Zimmer; cast: Tom Hanks (Robert Langdon), Felicity Jones (Sienna Brooks), Irrfan Khan (Harry Sims), Omar Sy (Christoph Bouchard), Ben Foster (Bertrand Zobrist), Sidse Babett Knudsen (Elizabeth Sinskey), Ana Ularu (Vayentha), Ida Darvish (Marta Alvarez), Paul Ritter (CRC Tech Arbogast); Runtime: 121; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard; Sony Pictures; 2016)

The third sequel is just as wearisome as the others, but if I remember clearly it’s even more plodding than the others.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The third sequel is just as wearisome as the others, but if I remember clearly it’s even more plodding than the others. It’s hard to be thrilled by such a shallow film with the repeating indigestible message that killing a billion people isn’t a good way to save the planet. A message that obviously only a lunatic would promote as a serious one.

The mindless thriller is based on the claptrap novel by Dan Brown and is written in an overwrought manner by David Koepp. So-so filmmaker Ron Howard (“DaVinci Code”/”In the Heart of the Sea“) directs as if he just wants to make it watchable, which he can’t manage to do except if you count the location atmosphere shots as special.

The always agreeable Tom Hanks is not right here, as he flatly reprises his role as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon–seemingly just going through the motions. It’s an outlandishh role which finds him trying to save the world while using Dante’s The Divine Comedy as a guide to prevent in time a global catastrophe.

In Florence, Italy, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is in a hospital suffering from bullet wounds, trauma and amnesia. He is helped to escape from a female killer (Ana Ularu), dressed as a carabinieri, by his doctor Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones). From here on they race against the clock and across Florence, Venice and Istanbul to foil a demonic plot, as his memory returns when viewing Botticelli’s 15th-century painting The Abyss of Hell and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Warped billionaire Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Fosters) commits suicide in the first act. He’s the crazed idealist who believes there are too many people in the world and the world would benefit if he unleashes a plague-like virus that will considerably lower the world population. When Langdon realizes the Zobrist plan is still on he also realizes it’s up to him to prevent it. While chased around the globe by the bad guys and bad lady, he encounters a few surprises. He also hooks up again with his former love interest, Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen), now leading the World Health Organization in its effort to avert a world tragedy.

Others worth noting involved in this dubious project include Omar Sy as a shady agent and Irrfan Khan as a security firm big-wheel. Using Dante as a cover for its dumb story, only makes things worse.