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Overall Rating
2.49

Awesome: 4.25%
Worth A Look: 12.26%
Just Average: 27.83%
Pretty Crappy39.15%
Sucks: 16.51%

19 reviews, 98 user ratings


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Da Vinci Code, The
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by EricDSnider

"The book isn't even very good, and it's still better."
3 stars

We need to be clear on something first: "The Da Vinci Code" is not a great book. It's a fun book, and a quick read, and it has some nifty ideas, but let's be honest: The writing is pedestrian and the story is ludicrous. It's the literary equivalent of a movie like "Independence Day" or a restaurant like McDonald's.

There's no shame in enjoying a book like that, or a movie like that, or a hamburger from there (I'm a fan of all three) -- but you wouldn't describe any of them as outstanding examples of their craft, would you? If you would, you need to read more books/watch more movies/dine out more often.

The point is, it's unlikely that a movie version of "The Da Vinci Code" would be brilliant cinema, at least not without completely overhauling the book. It becomes even less likely when that most generically competent and uninteresting of directors Ron Howard gets involved, and the odds drop even further when Howard brings his favorite generic screenwriter Akiva Goldsman ("A Beautiful Mind," "I, Robot," "Batman & Robin") with him.

Sure enough, "The Da Vinci Code" is a thick, bloated film in which very serious people dash around Europe while blurting important-sounding dialogue. They are prone to over-dramatic behavior, as when a Catholic higher-up says that "blood is being spilled," and to make the point, he pours wine all over the table. There's a lot of that sort of thing.

It all begins, as you recall from reading Dan Brown's novel two summers ago, with an old scholar being murdered in the Louvre. American tweed Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), in town for a lecture and book-signing, is summoned to the crime scene to help analyze cryptic clues left by the victim, only to discover -- with the help of the deceased's granddaughter Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) -- that he himself is a suspect in the killing.

Robert and Sophie are soon on the run, fleeing police while deciphering the old man's clues. Seems the fellow was fond of anagrams, puzzles, riddles, cryptograms and treasure hunts. He was also a member of a secret society called the Priory of Scion, which for centuries has guarded the world's most closely kept secret: the true nature and current whereabouts of the Holy Grail. If Robert and Sophie can figure out all the clues, they will unlock these secrets -- secrets that certain factions of the Catholic Church would kill to keep hidden! (Specifically, there is a masochistic albino monk played by Paul Bettany who freelances as an assassin.)

Luckily, Robert knows a Holy Grail expert, a dotty English man named Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen), whose last name always, ALWAYS makes me think "Teabag." Teabing is perfectly delighted to get involved in a good old-fashioned caper, first giving Sophie (and us) some background on the legends surrounding the Grail. And the hunt is on!

Yes, the film lacks a good climax, or even any decent momentum, and is instead just a series of events of average intensity, none more perilous than any other. And yes, it's definitely too long. But where it really goes wrong is in taking itself so darned seriously.

Take Robert and Sophie's visit to her grandfather's safety deposit box, for example. They're told that one wrong entry in the password will DISABLE THE SYSTEM, a silly, unnecessary detail that's supposed to add suspense. (What if they don't enter the right code?!) A few minutes later, when the police show up looking for them, the bank manager tells them this particular account has a "safe-passage clause," and he ushers them quickly into the back of an armored car to make their escape. Presumably, the safe-passage clause dictates that if the account holder is ever on the run from Johnny Law, the bank is obligated to help him hide. Me, I have to fight just to get free checking.

This is goofy stuff, folks, but Howard and his stern-faced actors treat it like it's Shakespeare, and not the fun kind, either. Tom Hanks has never seemed so dull, and the pixie-ish Audrey Tautou's only job is to be surprised by everything. ("What? Quoi? Are you saying...? Do you mean...?" etc.)

In fact, Ian McKellen is the only person in the movie who seems to be enjoying himself. He alone embraces the story's inherent outrageousness, rather than pretending it doesn't exist. I bet Ron Howard thinks it's a brilliant book, while McKellen read it on a plane once, smiled, and forgot all about it.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14534&reviewer=247
originally posted: 05/19/06 05:43:08
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User Comments

9/12/17 morris campbell silly crap 1 stars
10/11/13 Aby Crap 1 stars
7/04/10 azamhe catholics should not believe in this...it is only God who knows everything,lets not ask God 2 stars
4/29/09 Misha The worst movie T.Hanks ever played in. Why did he have to do it anyways? 1 stars
1/16/09 Aesop Skip the book; it's cheaper to read used baby diapers, and the smell is fainter. 1 stars
10/25/08 Shaun Wallner This movie stinks!! 2 stars
10/03/08 arthur daley tedious melodrama 1 stars
9/07/08 Samantha Pruitt inredibly predicatble, still fun though 3 stars
5/14/08 PAUL SHORTT IN A WORD - ABHORRENT 1 stars
2/24/08 SamanthaP the clue finding was cool, but it was so obvious what was gonna happen though. 3 stars
10/15/07 fools♫gold Of course the book is better - that's common sense. Not that I'll read it... 3 stars
10/14/07 pablo eneas The book was mediocre but at least interesting. The is useless 1 stars
10/05/07 TreeTiger Horrible movie - Audrey Tautou acts like a retarded 12 year old with a speech impediment 1 stars
8/22/07 Amin Abdullah The film was good, the book was perfect but a Da Vinci code mud/muck/mush would be divine! 5 stars
8/13/07 Annonomiss Book is clearer but still ya need to pay attention to the details to get it all. Skip it. 2 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK Watching this film twice could give you head cancer 1 stars
4/12/07 Anikka Read the book...much better 1 stars
2/17/07 David Pollastrini the bad hair day code 4 stars
2/11/07 Austin Wertman To tell ya the truth, I really liked it 4 stars
1/17/07 Indrid Cold The story is fairly intriguing, but the Nancy Drew elements and gaps in logic do it in. 3 stars
1/03/07 Matt Dark, messy. Hanks miscast. Rather read the book 2 stars
12/28/06 Jennifer Raven I liked the "history" to it. acting was kind of eh, but liked it 3 stars
12/09/06 Craig It insults Christianity, so it must be true, or at least today's generation thinks so. 1 stars
12/05/06 wufongtan boring book, boring movie. can i give minus 1 star? well thats what this star is aminus 1 stars
11/29/06 Gwen Stefani? Better than I expected, but lacking something. 4 stars
11/24/06 sokukodo Loved it! 4 stars
11/15/06 Jari Movie sucks big time, casting too.. 1 stars
11/13/06 ras Book was well written, good use of fact & fiction to encourage dialogue.The movie failed 3 stars
8/17/06 Pn. The final three minutes are sopt-on brilliant. Is that enough? 3 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant Painful to sit through. Hanks sucks, Ron Howard sucks, the whole hoopla sucks. Avoid. 1 stars
7/12/06 Agent Sands OK, so it's good. Now can everyone please shut the fuck up about it? 4 stars
7/07/06 Anthony Feor They couldn't even crack the damn code 3 stars
7/06/06 Keith Carter Bought in Bangkok for $2 - What a waste of money! 1 stars
6/27/06 Michael Parkes the last half hour is surprisingly moving 4 stars
6/26/06 Kimberly Certainly not the thriller it is made out to be. 3 stars
6/12/06 Michael Howard proves yet again why he isn't remembered at Oscar time. 2 stars
6/11/06 Monday Morning An intriguing flick not for those with short attention spans. Could be edited a bit. 4 stars
6/08/06 Beatriz it was an interesting movie apart from the controversy it has received 4 stars
6/06/06 Raven blasphemous? lol 5 stars
6/06/06 Quigley blasphemous, dark and far, far too long; stated a bunch of lies as truth. don't even bother 2 stars
6/06/06 alice Girls, the stuff bout Magdalena is no fiction but the truth, go see it. 4 stars
6/02/06 Rowsdower Better than your average thriller. Even if it's junk history, it's fun junk history. 4 stars
6/02/06 steve fahey At least by comparison to the wordy book, the film gets high marks for pace and action. 4 stars
6/02/06 atanu so dark the con perpetrated by dan. 1 stars
6/01/06 Stacy Not worthy of the hype it was given, but not worthy of the horrible reviews. Ian's great. 3 stars
6/01/06 shruthi reddy the movie sucks 1 stars
5/31/06 Peter Great review I ended up seeing this stuff because of this review. 5 stars
5/30/06 daveyt film dragged monotonously, the booked described the story better in words 2 stars
5/30/06 Ally Tut, Tom Hanks let himself down, who the hell was that Audrey Tautou girl?? Shes crap!! 2 stars
5/30/06 Amanda The movie was a pain in the ass. 1 stars
5/29/06 Scott Trash! They should have paid ME to suffer through this turkey!!! 1 stars
5/29/06 Jeff Withrow The film was good - the book was great, 4 stars
5/29/06 San Lamar its aiight 3 stars
5/29/06 millersxing Tautou and Hanks made solid choices, but neither transcends his or her role. 3 stars
5/29/06 Sean D Overhyped complete fucking shit 1 stars
5/29/06 Zaw over hyped! the bitch accent was annoying! It was like I paid $10 to watch Discovery Chanl! 1 stars
5/29/06 Jason Book is shit, so is the movie 1 stars
5/28/06 Troy M. Grzych The pieces of the puzzle come together pretty entertainly, but there is no surprises. 4 stars
5/28/06 Charlene Javier Completely disappointing. 2 stars
5/28/06 Anthony Feor Disapointing, If you want a movie where you have to think, think twice about seeing this. 3 stars
5/27/06 ad youll be better off watching discovery channel 2 stars
5/26/06 Paterfam001@yahoo.ca Todd Laplace: it's penchant and highly-coiffed. 3 stars
5/25/06 john bale A faithful adaption of the novel, a clever but pedestrian thriller for the Thinking Man. 4 stars
5/25/06 captain craig Howard proves more is certainly NOT better 2 stars
5/25/06 dr.mendonca.correia@oninet.pt Pasolini, with 0.0000001% of this trash's budget, made the great "St. Matthew's Gospel"!... 1 stars
5/25/06 jcjs fine acting, interesting plot but something lacking.. i like the idea Jesus had manly sex 4 stars
5/25/06 Becki D I don't think the subject matter came across on screen as well as it does in the novel. 3 stars
5/24/06 Mase This is the storry that has captivated so many readers!! Not bad but little to recommend. 3 stars
5/24/06 saw When will the lies stop? The Bible contains the Truth! 1 stars
5/24/06 ES Great twists, good character developement, amazing suspense, Ron Howard is at his best here 4 stars
5/23/06 Anthony Feor A disapointing movie with meaning 3 stars
5/23/06 Anonymous Simply Amazing! Amazing story and amazing job by Howard to recreate it! 5 stars
5/23/06 Anthony G Interesting story, movie dragged on and on though. 3 stars
5/22/06 Josh Standlee Not as good as I thought it would be. 3 stars
5/22/06 Maricel Padilla No Comment 3 stars
5/22/06 John Shannon Excellent adaptation. It captured the feel of the book perfectly. 5 stars
5/22/06 Frenzy Not so bad at all 4 stars
5/22/06 Bob Dole it was a horrible film 2 stars
5/22/06 chris. shitty cinema happens when a director knows he automatically has a shitload of viewers 1 stars
5/21/06 L. Mahaffey fiction and fiction it is! 1 stars
5/21/06 Dave Hey, i thought it was pretty good, and Tautou great. Guess I wouldn't make a good critic. 4 stars
5/21/06 Pokejedservo An intresting though not flawless film, Ian McKellan easily stole the show though. 4 stars
5/21/06 Aaron Valdes I enjoyed. It had terrific elements. 5 stars
5/21/06 Marce Hopelessly long-winded and miscast. 2 stars
5/21/06 Vera Mallard Long and silly. 2 stars
5/21/06 ajay I read the book, so I was just kinda waiting for the scenes I knew were coming... 3 stars
5/20/06 doug yawn 2 stars
5/20/06 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Opie, you've made a bad movie, now go to your room!!! 1 stars
5/20/06 bobbrewster Entertaining and enjoyable, which is what most normal people will conclude 5 stars
5/20/06 Ole Man Bourbon Dead-end or preposterous notions at times, crappy screeplay, awkward direction. 3 stars
5/20/06 BrianWilly Awesome. 5 stars
5/19/06 Marcia Zarwetten-Grassi Whether church is right or wrong, it's troubling that some would impose a Jesus dynasty! 4 stars
5/19/06 alien assassin The most overhyped movie event of the decade...Makes "Phantom Menace" look like LOTR 2 stars
5/19/06 San Lamar didnt live up to expectation 3 stars
5/19/06 Illumine Duh . . . 1 stars
5/19/06 Leo ZZZzzzzzzz-Boreing 1 stars
5/19/06 family medicine intern outstanding 5 stars
5/18/06 Adrian Disappointing. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-May-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Nov-2006

UK
  19-May-2006

Australia
  18-May-2006


Directed by
  Ron Howard

Written by
  Akiva Goldsman

Cast
  Tom Hanks
  Audrey Tautou
  Jean Reno
  Ian McKellen
  Paul Bettany
  Alfred Molina



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