CORPORATE LINE: Famed symbologist Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is called to the Louvre museum one night where a curator has been murdered, leaving behind a mysterious trail of symbols and clues. With his own survival at stake, Langdon, aided by the police cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), unveils a series of stunning secrets hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, all leading to a covert society dedicated to guarding an ancient secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years.
The pair set off on a thrilling quest through Paris, London and Scotland, collecting clues as they desperately attempt to crack the code and reveal secrets that will shake the very foundations of mankind.
THE REVIEW: For many people, The Da Vinci Code has become the must see film of the year. One reason is because the book has sold upwards of 40 million copies and people want to see how the film compares to the book. If that is your reason to see the movie you’ll be sad to find that the film is a huge let down.
The biggest problem with The Da Vinci Code is it spends too much time explaining everything with words and doesn’t offer a chance for a lot of action or suspense. Even if you read the book, all of the history discussion gets old quick. This is the kind of movie where you want to be sitting on the edge of your seat instead of wandering to the bathroom every ten minutes or to the counter to buy more pop to stay awake.
Tom Hanks is a great actor—but that doesn’t come across here. He is stuck in the mud with babbling dialogue that never comes across as believable. And then there is the hair—an actors bad hair should never be so distracting unless it’s a satire. Tom Hanks trying to be Indiana Jones doesn’t work. Tom Hanks is a great actor cast in the wrong film. Even worse is Audry Tautou who tries her best to get through the dialogue while deciphering it into English. Ian McKellen outshines everyone in every scene. It’s a shame he didn’t have actors that fit their roles as well as he fit his.
THE EXTRAS: The many featurettes are all part of one larger making-of features which can be played at once.
The featurettes included:
“First Day on the Set with Ron Howard” this featurette follows Director Ron Howard as he introduces the film and the excitement of beginning production at the Louvre in Paris.
“The Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown – A very short discussion with the author and a look at the inspiration for the book and a discussion of religion.
“A Portrait of Langdon” and “Who is Sophie Neveu?” is another short and concise look at the characters while “Unusual Suspects” is a look at the ancillary characters and their different characteristics.
“Magical Places” is a look at the locations where the movie was shot and the sets that were built to replicate the original marvels.
“Close-up on Mona Lisa” – This is a feature about the cast and how they felt about seeing the painting. It’s not nearly as interesting as it would have been if we saw them reacting to see the painting.
“The Filmmaking Experience Part 1” and “The Filmmaking Experience Part 2” includes an exclusive look at filming the last and most revealing scene.
“The Codes of “The Da Vinci Code” features the many hidden references within the movie. Some of it is interesting while some seems like senseless indulgence in trying to make the movie more like the book with codes and hidden references.
“The Music of “The Da Vinci Code” is merely a chance to try and sell the soundtrack.
FRANKLY: The Da Vinci Code does a poor job trying to interpret the book. The movie makes Dan Brown’s tome look like the greatest book ever written. It is a good book, but if your first impression is the movie you’ll never want to go out and buy the text. Ron Howard has made some very nice time pieces and then there is The Da Vinci Code. This is a movie that should feel like an epic. It doesn’t come close.
Maybe we all expected too much of The Da Vinci Code—mostly because we’ve been hearing about it for a year. It has definitely been over-hyped. Sadly, The Da Vinci Code doesn’t stand alone as a great film.
+ Charlie Craine