Is saving the world worth billions of lives? That’s what some of Inferno‘s characters think. They believe every problem facing us can be traced to overpopulation, and they’re willing to release a plague to reduce our numbers.
It’s a timely issue – has been for decades. And yet, the catastrophe radical environmentalists predict keeps failing to arrive. Some experts believe it never really will – as economic development continues, people will generally have fewer children, and the population will taper off. There are varying projections for population growth out there, and the worst-case scenario has it hitting 11 billion at the end of the century. Will it be a problem if we’re relying on renewable energy, poverty has been largely alleviated, there are better treatments for every disease, and we’ve got colonies in outer space? Maybe not.
This is what Inferno makes you think about. But ever-ethical Robert Langdon reminds us that some of the worst crimes humanity has committed have been in the name of the greater good. Political junkies like us will automatically think of the evil ideologies of the twentieth century that demanded the sacrifice of millions for a far-fetched future. It’s something we should be reminded of more often. There are radical beliefs around us today. There are people who believe in killing innocents to further their goals. And they always have to be fought.
But this isn’t just a movie about ethics, of course*. It’s an action movie, and it’s fun. If you like The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, you’ll probably like this. In terms of the directing, acting, and writing, it’s no better and no worse. I will warn those who have read the book to be prepared for disappointment: The ending is completely different. Some of the characters were even changed from good guys to bad guys! The changes might not be welcome. If you’re going to judge the movie based on its loyalty to the book, then the first half is great and the second half is terrible. But if that doesn’t decide the quality of the movie for you, give it a shot. It’ll at least be two hours of entertainment.
*I do recommend the book for more detailed discussions of ethics and government, if you’re so inclined.