DVD Review – Dante’s Inferno

Dante's Inferno, why God, why?

Dante’s Inferno, an animated movie from EA, will be released this Monday (8th February) to coincide with the release of the game of the same name.

Both movie and game are loosely based on Inferno, the first part of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, and use the premise of Dante travelling through hell, fuelled by his love of Beatrice.

That’s pretty much where the similarity ends, as this Dante, rather than a poet, is a Knight of the Crusades, who returns home only to find everyone murdered and his beloved Beatrice being dragged down to Hell by Lucifer himself. Dante’s journey is therefore both a rescue mission as well as him having to confront his personal sins and guilt.

The game makes sense in a hack and slash, visceral nastiness kind of way, but the film is something of a puzzle. It has been animated by five different companies (Film Roman, Manglobe, Dong Woo, JM Animation (2 sections) and Production I.G). Each separate segment has a very specific visual style, from the vaseline on the lense feel of the Film Roman section to the clear line work precision of the Dong Woo one. Dante, Beatrice, Virgil all look remarkable different in each section, as do supporting characters (which can make them difficult to place as the story progresses). While this is nice enough in principle, there seems to be no specific rhyme or reason to where the style changes. Film Roman starts in the ordinary world, finishes in Limbo, Manglobe take on the first five levels of hell, and after that the sectioning up becomes increasingly random. It is, as you would expect, gory and unpleasant, but never really shocking.

This is not, however, the only problem with the movie. The main problem is that it would appear to be utterly redundant. Apparently it extends the story of the game, but I’m not convinced that gamers would be that bothered. You’d really have to bloody adore this game to want to buy the movie. Dante is revealed to be lustful, fraudulent, traitorous, with a greedy father and suicidal mother. Beatrice suffers at the hands of Lucifer, even having a Mia Sara Legend moment towards the end.

Some of the animation is excellent, some less so, and as an animation oddity I suppose it has some small value. However, while EA’s Dead Space:Downfall animated movie told the story of the Ishimura before everything Isaac and his team arrive, this really brings nothing new to the party.

This was originally posted on 8th February, 2010 over at The Day Hollywood Stood Still

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on May 25, 2010.

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