Da Vinci Code, The
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368 of 764 readers found this review helpful.
Why do people get so mad at movies? Controversy over a fictional movie is ridiculous. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN? Who cares? Now we have THE DA VINCI CODE. All I hear is “Boycott! Boycott!”. Why? No one made a stink about other religious based movie. Did you hear the media, or church, scream out about THE PROPHECY with Christopher Walken? How bout’ THE SEVENTH SIGN? Not a peep. STIGMATA? No one even saw it. Hell, what about JESUS CHRIST VAMPIRE HUNTER? Nope. Why choose this one? It’s all about the money and hype. Because of all the hype (and of course the book) we get a movie that is raking in the cash. The sad thing about all this is the movie does not come even close to deserving to be a box office smash. If you are going to scream “Boycott” and take arms against a movie, then at least make sure it is a good movie. Without the hype this movie could have disappeared and entered the bargain bin DVD section at Walmart where it belongs. I never read the book, so let’s talk about the movie.
Tom Hanks plays professor Robert Langdon who is called in by French police to help out in a recent murder. There are clues on the body and a riddle that may help in identifying the killer. Turns out that Langdon looks to be the best suspect as his name was written on the floor by the victim. Now on the run with a French cryptologist Sophie (the stunning Audrey Tautou) they must solve the riddles scattered throughout and find a secret that could destroy all of Christianity, before they are killed for it.
It turns out that the church of Opus Dei are out to keep the “truth” buried forever by killing off all members of a secret society called the Priory of Scion. Only they know the true whereabouts of the Holy Grail. Turns out the curator of the Louvre was a member of this society. With the police and church hunting down the both, their time is short. What is this secret that the church is willing to kill over? Can Langdon and Sophie decipher Da Vinci’s Code and solve the riddle before they are captured or killed? Can Langdon prove his innocence in the murder?
Well, I want to keep the synopsis as short as possible so as not to give away any plot twists or key moments. I know that only One Eyed Eddie, the illiterate man that sells used underwear down the alley, and myself, are the only two people in the world that has not read the book, but I could not tell you if anything was changed or stayed the same for the film version. I don’t care about the book anyhow, because this review is about the movie.
Now this movie is bad. I mean bad. As a thriller, this had no thrills. Watching this was like watching a watered down version of NATIONAL TREASURE with Nic Cage. We start the movie with Langdon seeing a clue. It takes him around 30 seconds to solve the riddle which leads him to a painting. Seconds later they are on an “adventure” to find more riddles and solve those. This guy reminded me of Columbo. The riddles posed no mystery or trouble for him. He solved them all, and frankly even showing the riddles to the audience was a waste. I had no clue what the hell he was talking about half the time, but no worries because it did not matter. Langdon knew it all, and did not miss a beat so I just nodded my head and moved on.
The film is set up as one giant conspiracy that had people changing alliances, and you never knew who to trust. Well, nor did you care. This leads into the one thing that the movie did well. This movie did a great job of giving the audience no reason to care about any characters. I honestly did not care who was good, or bad and some proved bad with no motivation whatsoever. With knowing all that was involved, and who the bad guys were in the first couple minutes, then I felt that no need to continue on with the movie. There never seemed to be an urgency from anyone.
I have some questions here. Why was Langdon chosen in the first place to solve this riddle? Secondly, who gives a damn about the riddle? Solving it would not necessarily clear up the whole murder suspect thing and frankly that should have been Landon’s main concern. Why was the church only now deciding to find the Holy Grail? If this thing has been around for so many years, then what was the big deal now? How can one movie throw in so many attempts at plot twists, and still give the audience no tension or mystery? How can a movie that is less than 3 hours long feel so much longer?
Now the movie is not complete garbage. Ian McKellan brings a superb performance to his character of Sir Teabing, and Tom Hanks (while being dull as hell) had moments of his usual brilliant acting record. The scenery and production was also top notch, showing great cinematography. This earned it some cans, but not enough to warrant a good movie. What could have gotten the movie more cans? If they would have thrown out all the pointless twists and turns and streamlined the never ending film.
The book may be the greatest read in the world. It may make me look at things so differently, or at least may me say “Damn, that was a good read”, but when it comes to the movie, skip it. A good thriller should have you on the edge of your seat, and have the audience try to solve things along with the characters on the screen. Here we get a summer movie minus the explosions, a thriller minus the thrills, and a movie that’s plot was full of enough holes to make my brain cry out in pain. When the movie was over I looked at my brother, who HAS read the book, and all he could say was exactly what I was thinking, “Let’s try to forget we ever saw that movie.” While not being the worst movie that I have seen, it did not deserve the hype, attention, or my 13 dollars to see this film.
Added: Monday, May 22, 2006
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