The Da Vinci Code (2006)
USA / English
"Seek The Truth "A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years -- which could shake the foundations of Christianity.
The best movie critic is YOU
So I suggest not writing this off as a Hollywood hack film, simply
because it's the bandwagon thing to do. Before you go and see The Da
Vinci Code, let all the negative and positive hype surrounding this
production cancel each other out, clear your mind, and judge this film
fairly. Do NOT judge it on its usually weak director, do NOT judge it
entirely on the source material and do NOT judge it on your religious
beliefs. All this will be rewarding.
I have not read the book so I will not attempt any kind of comparison.
Plot essentially goes like this: In the middle of the night, Professor
Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is summoned as an expert to a crime scene in
Le Louvre where a terrible murder has been committed. The victim's body
is self-placed in such a bizarre, symbolic way next to one of the
world's most famous paintings that the investigation gradually unlocks
age-old mysteries that many do not wish to be unlocked.
The Da Vinci Code is a chilling, thrilling and well-sewn together
mystery thriller that often keeps you on the edge of your seat. The
cast do not disappoint either. Paul Bettany is genuinely creepy as
Silas and thereby reinforces the stereotype that all albinos are evil.
While Audrey Tatou is annoyingly frail as Sophie Neveu, she is
captivating and lovely and is able to project both charisma and
presence on screen in this film. However, Tom Hanks did not at all feel
like the protagonist in the story and I am unaware whether that was
intentional or not but I'm guessing no, in which case Hanks definitely
fails in both attracting and keeping our interest.
So the cast usually perform well (with the exception of Hanks) and the
story is also facilitated by some very striking visuals. A big plus for
this film which elevates it slightly above generic formula is its
beautiful locations often seen through epic aerial shots. Good call,
Howard! Another big plus is its distinctly Euro-centric feel in both
style and substance. This surprised me since it is Tom Hanks and Ron
Howard in the same film, but they do manage to keep the overblown
Hollywood clichés to a minimum. This is even apparent in the score by
Hans Zimmer; it is not overblown, but subtle and appropriate in the
scenes to which it was scored. Similarly, Frenchmen do not speak
English with a French accent when they were alone together, but speak
in French. That said, the plot does unfold in a somewhat Hollywood
fashion -- and the plot happens to be thinner than an Olsen twin.
To counter the good parts, two big minuses in The Da Vinci Code are its
wooden and sometimes even placeholder dialogue and its distinct lack of
humor. I felt the actors were much too serious for this kind of film,
which is first and foremost an adventure story, fast-paced and
constantly unlocking new mysteries. The issues in the film were serious
enough and needed more comedy to balance them.
As I write this review, more and more bad points about it spring to
mind. This is strange, since I remember sitting in the cinema with my
friends just a few hours ago and being thoroughly entertained and
captivated by the whole thing. So, never mind the occasionally
insultingly far-fetched plot and plot-twists by Dan Brown; The Da Vinci
Code is a nicely done and very entertaining film in which nothing feels
missing or incomplete.
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