Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic (Blu-ray / DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Featuring the voices of Mark Hamill, Victoria Tennant, Vanessa Branch, Graham McTavish
Directed by Mike Disa
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
There's no doubt about it; Dante's Inferno is a classic tale that is riddled with enough adventure, sex, violence, and mystery for any horror fan to enjoy. This new animated film, which is based upon the upcoming EA game, which is based loosely upon the original epic tale by author Dante Alighieri, serves to whet our whistle for the upcoming software and little else.
For those unfamiliar with how the story goes ... our hero Dante must travel through all nine circles of hell (Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery) while fighting off all manner of ferocious demons as a means to save the spirit and soul of the woman he loves, the ever-so-pure Beatrice, from the clutches of the ruler of Hell itself, Lucifer. That was quite the sentence, no?
Yes, the content above is the exact kind of fodder that would make a good movie, and definitely a good video game, but in the end this "animated epic" as it is called plays like nothing more than a marketing tool for the video game. The flow of the movie is broken down like this -- introduce a character, go to circle of Hell, fight boss there, introduce a character, go to circle of Hell, fight boss there, repeat until the end credits roll. Another problem is that several artists were brought in to animate different segments of the movie. This causes each character to look drastically different from one moment to the next. While that seems like an ambitious thing to do, it just ends up causing confusion. You shouldn't be watching a movie and an hour into be wondering, "Who's that supposed to be again?" That's just not good at all.
What is good, though, is the voice acting coupled with some of the most evil imagery ever put into an animated feature. Dante's Inferno pulls no punches in terms of how dark this tale is. In fact it revels in it. Not more than a couple of minutes at a time go by without some menacing beast or act of violence staining our TV screens with thick crimson grue. If the proceedings had just been fleshed out a bit more, we could have had an absolute winner on our hands. As is, we just have a slightly above average experience to dig on while we wait to get our hands on the game itself.
The Blu-ray of the flick is hands down the package to get if you have the tech as the animation at times looks simply amazing. That's not to say that the DVD doesn't look or sound good. It does, just not as good as its high definition cousin. In terms of extras both editions are home to the same exact things -- a few animatics and the trailer for the game. Not a whole lot to see here, that's for sure.
Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic definitely hits more marks than it misses, but not many more. After it was all over, I felt myself not only wanting to play the game, but wishing that someone would finally come along and give this amazing tale the treatment that it deserves -- animated or not!
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
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