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Dante's Inferno

Cult Movies movie directed by Mike Disa

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To Hell, But Not Back (2 1/2 Stars)

  • Mar 19, 2010
Dante Alighieri's DIVINE COMEDY, and more specifically THE INFERNO, has had a tremendous influence upon our culture. It's been over a decade since I read this poem, but when I heard that there was a video game coming out that was based on THE INFERNO it really intrigued me. It wasn't so much the game itself, but the idea of what the main storyline would be in the game. Since I don't have a PS3 or an XBOX 360, I was able to get an idea of what the story the game-developers created by watching the DVD based upon the game.

So, DANTE'S INFERNO is an animated movie conceived by six different directors that is based upon a video game that is loosely based upon a Middle Age Italian poem. Get that?

The movie revolves around Dante Aligheiri. In this version of the story he's apparently the son of an English lord gone off to the Crusades to fight for King Richard and win Jerusalem back from the Muslims. In flashback seen during key points during Dante's journey it's revealed that Dante was involved in some very horrible acts while in the Holy Land. He returns home to find his family and his beloved Beatrice, to whom he is betrothed, murdered. As Beatrice, a supposedly pure soul, begins to rise toward Heaven, she is snatched by Satan and taken to Hell. A gateway is left open and Dante, though a living mortal, follows in pursuit. Beatrice is taken deep into Hell because Satan intends to make her his bride. He taunts Dante with the assumption that he can save Beatrice, but only if he's able to make it through the nine levels of Hell alive. Dante seems to want nothing more than to be with Beatrice again and with the help of Virgil, who serves as his spirit guide that explains to him the tortures of each level, some of the famous people there, and what he must do to open the door to the next level, he begins fighting his way through the nine planes of Hell. In addition to fighting of Hell's minions, Dante has a cross that contains a real artifact (a thorn from the crown of Christ, I believe) that Dante can use to save any souls he feels don't deserve to be in Hell.

Just like the poem, DANTE'S INFERNO is incredible violent and graphic. There are babies crawling around on four legs with giant scissor appendages, women with genitalia that can both eat a person or pierce them through the heart, zombie desert warriors, as well as numerous harpies and demons. Appendages get slashed and gore gushes out. At one point in the movie there are literally rivers of blood. Oh, and there's also nudity. There's lots and lots of nudity; numerous full frontal females and every once in awhile a full frontal male. Oh, and there's lots of cursing, too. I don't recall the "f-bomb" being spoken, but there are lots and lots of damns and when Dante damns something he really means it. I've played the first two GOD OF WAR video games, and in all honesty parts of the story and the tone of the movie are quite similar to those games.

The overall layout of Hell and many of the characters that Dante encounter are actually taken directly from the poem. Also, the narrated segment at the beginning of the film are the opening lines of the poem, spoken word for word. I was actually quite surprised by this.

However, if you're looking for solid theology, look somewhere else. Other than taking basic ideas from Christianity and the overall theme of good conquering evil, there's nothing in this movie that comes close to good theology.

In terms of animation, the animation is decent and at times beautiful (even in Hell there is beauty). There were six different animators on the project so there are times that a character physically changes from one scene to the next. For instance Beatrice's brother, Francesco, has a different hair color and body-type almost every time he is seen.

There are a lot of people who would not enjoy anything at all in DANTE'S INFERNO. However, if you realize that the movie is extremely graphic and explicit and it's only loosely based on the famous poem and don't mind poorly written dialogue (it seems that Dante yells Beatrice several hundred if not a thousand times), it's not too bad. It can work as an introduction to either the famous poem or DANTE'S INFERNO video game. Recommended for people who have an interest in Dante, who are curious about the video game DANTE'S INFERNO, or those who enjoy extremely graphic and explicit animated movies.

The special features on the DVD include animatics of several scenes in the movie as well as a trailer for the video game.

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More Dante's Inferno reviews
review by . March 30, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
Wow, where to start. Considering that the cartoon is based on the EA video game, I didn't go into the viewing expecting a strict adherence to the initial influence, Dante Alighieri's 14th century epic poem Inferno, but I was sort of hoping for the general story to crop into the plot. I suppose in a way it does, at least in the barest conceptual terms. Reading the back of the case I saw that the story follows a character named Dante, a knight back from the crusades, who follows his betrothed, Beatrice, …
review by . February 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: The occasional creative design     Cons: It's based on a video game! From Electronic Arts, of anyone!     The Bottom Line: How am I giving out so many one-star ratings lately?     The Electronic Arts logo which appears in the opening credits didn't leave me brimming with a sense of hope. Understand that as a reviewer who is known primarily for his work in the games section, I was already aware of the fact that a video game based on …
review by . June 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Anime lovers will probably enjoy this Dante's Inferno, especially those who like the more adult theme film. Literature purists will probably not even have this on their radar, but if they did , they'd likely be disappointed with how loosely it interprets the original story.     This is a decent, modern re-imagining of Dante's classic tale. It was not always easy to follow and the pacing was off in spots, but the visual eye-candy, exotic levels of hell and more action than you …
review by . March 02, 2010
When I first got this video, I was pretty excited. Both my husband and I play video games. I have been thinking about getting him Dante's Inferno, so the companion movie seemed like a good treat. Instead it was 88 minutes of our lives that I will never get back. There are many reasons that I disliked this movie, but I will highlight the worst offenders.     #1: There are 6 different directors and 6 different animation styles. Instead of having this be artsy, or fun you are left …
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Director: Mike Disa
DVD Release Date: February 9, 2010
Runtime: 88 minutes
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay

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