After a brief search for this thread, I found nothing. So here goes:
I just returned from the Da Vinci Code- a movie which I had no intention of seeing. Hell, I’ve never read the book, for that matter (I mostly avoided the book because I dislike most fiction and I was irritated by the bruhaha and Dan Brown fangirl/boyism that was running rampant). Anywho, I went to the movie because my friend had a spare ticket and who am I to turn down a free movie?
The movie left me completely underwhelmed. I knew nothing about the story other than two basic facts: the Catholic Church is pissed and the story is about the idea of Jesus and Mary Magdalene having a child, thus starting a genetic legacy. Other than those two facts, I knew nothing.
And yet, within 20 minutes, I knew that Sophie was the descendent and that Mary was buried under the pyramid outside of the Louvre. In fact, the second fact was made bloody obvious by Hanks’ random line, in which he (may as well have) said, “You know what makes these pyramids cool? These pyramids right here. Yup, right here. These two pyramids. Anyway, these two pyramids are cool because they are, like, totally geometric mirrors of one-another. Yup, those two pyramids. :: JUMPING UP AND DOWN, WAVING ARMS LIKE A SIM :: These pyramids right here are foreshadowing. So remember them, mmkay? Neat stuff is going to happen involving them later on.”
As I said, I haven’t read the book, but from what my companion told me, the story was dumbed down for the movie version. Well, I’m all for making your movie appeal to a broader audience, but dayum! To me, at least, the entire plot was heavy-handed and painfully obvious. It seems as though Howard, the actors, and everyone else involved felt that the audience was too dumb to get things without being bashed over the head with the fact over and over and over.
The acting? Pretty bad. This is definitely NOT Hanks’ best job- far from it, in fact. Tautou (Sophie) was pretty much awful. Her “skill” was demonstrated when Hanks told her she was the descendent of Christ and she looked like a confused llama standing in the middle of a mall (Yup, that strange). People in the theater actually started laughing at this part.
McKellen’s character was the saving grace of the film. As all of the reviews suggested, McKellen truly stood out as the best in the movie. That said, my previous complaint still stands: from the moment he entered the screen, it was pretty clear to me that Leigh Teabing was “The Teacher.”
I also think the movie could have ended where Teabing is arrested, been a decent length, and left something up to the viewer. At that point, we would be left speculating if Sophie is in fact the descendent, what happens between her and Langdon, and wondering if Mary is in fact buried under that pyramid.
At the same time, I get it: the general audience doesn’t like speculation. Hell, most folks like to have everything spelled out, then answered in complete form.
Perhaps I’m different. Perhaps I’m hard to please. Who knows. In the end, I’m left wondering what the big deal about the Da Vinci Code is. Maybe over the summer I’ll read the book, but I’ll likely spend my time reading about the actual history that Mr. Brown. . . interpreted