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da vinci code movie

A 2006 feature film based on the bestselling 2003 novel of the same name by Dan Brown

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The Puzzler

  • Nov 15, 2006
Rating:
+1
Puzzles are fun. `The Da Vinci Code' provides this fun with a provocative story line that immediately grabs one's interest. Intrigue is the film's hallmark. To be brief, we start out with the murder of a professor who is a link to a "code" kept secret by Bishop Manuel Aringarosa (A ring around Rosa-!) (Alfred Molina, also "Doctor Oct," `Spiderman II') who is the ecclesial leader of Opus Dei, a secret sect of the Catholic Church. To cover their crimes, they frame American Professor Langdon (Tom Hanks), who can't help but become a reluctant investigator. He links with Agent Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), the granddaughter of the slain professor. From the murder's beginning, they are surrounded at the Louvre Museum by the police and the bishop's protege', Silas (Paul Bettany), a cruel and misguided murderer. It provides for a continuing and suspenseful chase. The drama unfolds a "treasure hunt" as Langdon relates, and we are fed clues to keep our interest going. Being an expert at historical symbols, Langdon correctly keeps the chase going to crack "the code" with Da Vinci leading the way with clever clues. When stumped we come into the company of Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellan) whose offering is the crux of `The Da Vinci' controversy. The suspenseful and absorbing chase is interrupted periodically by flashbacks meant to psychoanalyze the key players with backgrounds of faith that are tainted by abuse and misfortune. (Certainly, the self-immolation of Silas is linked to a faith fostered by abuse. Or at least he didn't take St. Ignatius's advice that these acts of penance are meant to be a gesture of repentance--not a means of self-torture.) The resolution is a mixed bag: It provides answers but is less awe-inspiring than the suspense that precedes it.

Appeal will be mixed. As entertainment, it sustains a mysterious atmosphere and a harrowing chase. Splitting with the movie has to do with its controversial rendering. Most people agree that Professor Teabing is the novelist Dan Brown's mouthpiece. For those who believe the story is historical fiction, they are delighted at the iconoclastic nature of the movie. For those who believe the story is fanciful fiction are often infuriated with the film. Sir Teabing says the Catholic Church is an agent of "oppression and brutality" and asks, "What if the greatest story ever told is a lie?" He refers to the bible. Tom Hanks, as the modern equivalent of the James Stewart everyman, says "We've been dragged into a world where people believe it's [the Holy Grail] real?" The bottom line is "Believe what you want to believe," which is borrowing a line from the Moody Blues who said, "...And we decide which is right and which is an illusion."

(Let the Christians be offended. After all, what if the movie was switched and we had the same movie with clues to show that Moses was really gay, or Mohammed frequented brothels? Could this be passed off as "fiction," fanciful or historical? The Dutch cartoonists last spring suggest that it could not.)

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More The Da Vinci Code (movie) reviews
review by . November 07, 2009
When I first heard of this movie I didn't really know what to expect I thought it would be just another conspiracy thriller a run of the mill action fueled adventure flick, but sadly to say I didn't get that here. What I got was a boring and very drawn out and mundane film that tried it's best but failed to live up to the hype and grandeur of the novel that it spawned from.             The DaVinci Code is not a great movie, it's what you call good rainy day …
review by . December 29, 2008
I liked the book, but The Da Vinci Code movie could have been far better.    First off, I don't know why they cast Tom Hanks. He lacks sex appeal, and yes this sounds shallow, but he just isn't the man for the role.     Secondly, the acting just isn't that great. I feel like the film was hastily put together because the book performed so well in markets. As a result, they probably didn't edit the film as well as they should have, and the actors were probably …
review by . May 11, 2009
Excellent film adaptation of Brown's book that loses none of the suspense and does an excellent job in the two hours it spans. I disagree with a lot of the critics that complain about the faithfulness to the book. All the key points are covered and quite well in the time allotted. Tom Hanks does an excellent job as Robert Landon, who seems to be mysteriously blamed for the murder of a curator in the Paris Louvre art museum. He is relentlessly hunted by the police like the recent Jason Bourne movies …
review by . February 08, 2007
Movies based on best-selling books are a risk in Hollywood as fans of the book often have high expectations and can grill a movie if it does not satisfy them. The makers of the Harry Potter and LOTR movies generally pleased the book fans, whereas the makers of Troy, Dinotopia, and War of the Worlds have not pleased the book fans. This being said, making a movie on a controversial book is an even greater risk, and The Da Vinci Code is probably one of the more controversial books to appear in the …
review by . December 04, 2006
When I read Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," I thought to myself that this would be excellent on the big screen. All of the religious issues aside (I'm Catholic and not convinced by this work of FICTION!), "Code" read like a big action/mystery yarn with a non-stop chase sequence. Unfortunately, Ron Howard's handling of the book on the big screen isn't what I'd hoped for. The story seems to get lost in the "whodunit?" aspect and leaves most viewers (like my wife) completely lost until the end of …
review by . November 20, 2006
After finally viewing this film last night I thought it was alright. Movies such as this seem to be a great challenge for directors. This story been read by so many and I know the film is almost 2.5 hours long, but this could, and should have been a bit longer or expanded in the correct places. The first 200 pages of Dan Brown's book are adapted into about 20 minutes. All of the anagrams, the Fache (Jean Reno) stuff, investigating the crime scene. ALL of that goes by in an incredibly rushed 20 minutes. …
review by . October 18, 2006
The DaVinci Code deserved better reviews than it received from the critics. Ron Howard did a good job of condensing a very long and complex plot into a comprehensible movie of reasonable length. Tom Hanks does an excellent job of portraying the American symbologist who is suspected of murder, and Audrey Tatou is an excellent counterpart to Hanks. I didn't even mind Tom's hair--it seemed appropriate for his character. My husband, who had not read the book, had no problems following the plot, whereas …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #100
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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Critics and controversy aside,The Da Vinci Codeis a verifiable blockbuster. Combine the film's huge worldwide box-office take with over 100 million copies of Dan Brown's book sold, andThe Da Vinci Codehas clearly made the leap from pop-culture hit to a certifiable franchise. The leap for any story making the move from book to big screen, however, is always more perilous. In the case ofThe Da Vinci Code, the plot is concocted of such a preposterous formula of elements that you wouldn’t envy screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, the man tasked with making this story filmable. The script followsDan Brown’s bookas closely as possible while incorporating a few needed changes, including a better ending. And if you’re like most of the world, by now you’ve read the book and know how it goes: while lecturing in Paris, noted Harvard Professor of Symbology Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is summoned to the Louvre by French police to help decipher a bizarre series of clues left at the scene of the murder of the chief curator. Enter Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), gifted cryptologist. Neveu and Langdon team up to solve the mystery, and from there the story is propelled across Europe, ballooning into a modern-day mini-quest for the Holy Grail, where secret societies are discovered, codes are broken, and murderous albino monks are thwarted… oh, and alternative theories about the life of Christ and the beginnings of Christianity are presented too, of course. It’s...
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Details

Director: Ron Howard
DVD Release Date: November 14, 2006
Studio: Sony Pictures

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