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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



Da Vinci Code, The
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by Jay Seaver

"Has the material for a great Scrooge McDuck adventure."
2 stars

The trouble with "The Da Vinci Code", at least as a movie, isn't that it advances a theory that could rub the religious the wrong way. After all, if a person's faith can't handle a hypothetical scenario in a work of fiction, then it's probably not doing them a lot of good. The problem is that said idea is all the movie has, and the process of finding it out isn't terribly exciting.

It opens with Dr. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), an internationally renowned expert in the field of symbolic anthropology or something like that being called to a crime scene in the Louvre to help decode a set of cryptic markings found near a body. As he does so, though, Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), a detective with the French equivalent of the FBI, informs him that he's not considered an expert, but a suspect. The murdered man was her grandfather, and she thinks the detective in charge, Bezu Fache (Jean Reno), is barking up the wrong tree, so she helps him escape and follow the clue to the real killer - Silas (Paul Bettany), an albino religious zealot. But who is he an agent for?

Sounds like it should be an exciting chase, no? They'll run to Langdon's mentor, Sir Leigh Teabing (Sir Ian McKellen), and from a conservative Catholic bishop (Alfred Molina), crisscross Europe, learn the true mission of the Knights Templar, and solve puzzles that will expose something that's been covered up for centuries. But the excitement of being just one step ahead of the other people looking for this forbidden knowledge is noticeably absent; there's but a single chase scene and that feels like it was edited by easily-distracted monkeys, and for most of the movie, "action" means Silas hitting himself. Indiana Jones, this is not. Heck, this isn't even Scrooge McDuck.

After all, even though an Uncle Scrooge story from the pen of Carl Barks or Don Rosa features nearly as much research and citing of relatively unknown history as The Da Vinci Code (if not more), it's not nearly so dour and humorless an affair. What little joy of discovery exists in this film comes from McKellen's retired professor, and he doesn't show up until halfway through the film. In the meantime, Hanks and Tautou grimly soldier through the puzzles they must solve, and by the time they come upon the big revelation, it feels like nothing more than the solution to a grisly murder. Although we're repeatedly told that for many people, this could change everything and cause turmoil, we never really see the scope of it - it feels like this one rogue bishop with his weird psychopath; it doesn't really feel like Langdon and Neveu are up against an ancient conspiracy with global reach.

Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (working from Dan Brown's novel) try; there's the occasional historic flashback, but the way these segments are shot makes them look unreal. It's all washed-out and grainy, twice as likely to make the audience feel like they're watching something artificial as the rest of the film. The fervor of the conspirators also seems more than a little excessive - when the secret society mentions DNA testing, I was sort of wondering what that would prove. How much DNA would someone actually share with his or her great-to-the-hundredth-power-grandparent? Think of it - half your DNA comes from your mother, one quarter from her mother, one eighth from hers... Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and I found myself unconvinced that extraordinary evidence existed within the story.

The film assembles a pretty decent cast for a series of relatively bland roles. Hanks delivers a decent lecture, but he's given little to actually do; it's a mistake to specify his character as having a near-eidetic memory, because it means that he can't even frantically write stuff down and rearrange letters when he's solving a code; he just sort of stands there. I've never been a fan of Audrey Tautou in her freaky elf roles, but without that shtick here, she's just a generic, kind of pretty French girl. Jean Reno gives off the veteran competence that seems to be his stock in trade in English-language roles, Alfred Molina is barely there, and Paul Bettany at least does a good job of looking psychotic. I'm not sure how much of a compliment it is to say that he's successfully drained any traces of individual humanity out of his character. You could say that Ian McKellen steals his scenes and the movie, but, really, they're handed to him.

"The Da Vinci Code" is two and a half hours of not getting any mileage out of a big idea. If the center of your movie is an earth-shaking secret, well, you might be well-advised to spend some of that time shaking the earth.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14534&reviewer=371
originally posted: 07/02/06 16:07:21
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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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