Dante's Inferno

Director: Vincent Cook, Mike Disa, et al (2010)
Starring: Graham McTavish, Vanessa Branch, Steve Blum, Mark Hamill
Find it: IMDB, Amazon

At last stepping out from the shadow of God Of War and doing something of its own initiative (although Dead Space did it first), Dante stars in his first full-length animated feature. Dante's Inferno adapts the videogame and (very liberally) bits of the poem to chronicle Dante's journeys through the Circles Of Hell. Although he dies considerably less than when he did controlled by my thumbs and doesn't have to look at walkthrough guides to work out the puzzles.

If you've played Dante's Inferno, then watching the movie feels somewhat odd. Where the Dead Space thing served as a prequel to Isaac's adventures, Dante's Inferno merely tells a story we've already seen. Firsthand. You'll watch as Dante returns home from the crusades to find the love of his life dead. You'll see him descend to Hell and do battle with all manner of demons, parasites and horrible things. As he battled Minos, I kept expecting button prompts to flash up as Real Time Events. Although I don't remember running away from all of those unbaptised babies. The funnest thing about the videogame was absolving Hell's atheists and evildoers and punishing the wrongly imprisoned. Yes, even videogame me is a bastard.

As Dante jumps from Circle to Circle (in a manner of speaking. This isn't a platformer) the animation switches to a new director. It works well, keeping the movie from becoming too stale and ensuring that there's a style to suit most tastes. I wasn't a fan of the slender, feminine looking Dante but another, gruffer looking chap was soon along to fill the gap. It doesn't jar as much as one might think it does and quite suits the story's style. Kudos, by the by, to the IMDB for listing Virgil Alghieri as chief writer.

Like the videogame itself, Dante's Inferno will win no prizes for originality. It follows the plot of the game pretty stringently (save for a few nice surprises and a cameo from Hitler) and never really feels like a stand-alone feature in its own right. It's perfectly accessible to non-gamers, but fans of classic literature will be sorely disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. The problem I really had here was that the different animation teams drew him differently AND in different attire. Given that this is based on a game, how did they not have a set model for reference?

    Beyond that, it's silly, pointlessly-gory and just not that good.