Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Da Vinci Code

Technically speaking, The Da Vinci Code isn't a very good book. By that, I mean that the writing is contrived and broken. However, the story is so compelling that you continue to wander through the adventure wondering where it will lead you next. Dan Brown's curious mix of fact and fiction created a watershed event. Some have gone so far as to compare it to the adult world's Harry Potter. But, at least the Harry Potter movies didn't leave me bored to tears.

This past month I spent every day playing the Google Da Vinci Code game in anticipation of the movie, which I had high hopes for. Perhaps if Google had made the movie, I might not have felt like I wasted my time.

The Da Vinci Code basically revolves around a plot of covering up what is the true Holy Grail and not what the Church would have you believe. If you can accept that this is just a fictional story and not something trampling on your beliefs, then you are one step ahead of those who would lead you to believe otherwise. My main complaint with the movie is that is treats the viewer like they are a moron and can't follow a simple plot. Everything is laid out for you like you haven't just been watching the same movie for the past two and a half hours. Every single point is laid out for you multiple times and this becomes tiring.

From what I can gather, Ron Howard was playing it safe---trying to appease the book fans too much while alienating the movie fans who have never read the book. All of the characters are just faces on the screen. The only one who has any bearing is Ian McKellen. He somehow manages to bring some life into his character in this dull script. I had high hopes for Audrey Tautou, seeing as this was her first major American blockbuster film. She was, on average...average. Tom Hanks, usually an actor who tries to bring everything to his roles feels like he is just reading cue cards. Even our self-flagellating bad guy, Silas, was only ho-hum.

As far as the cinematography is concerned, I expected something similar to A Beautiful Mind, and what I got was Sci-Fi Channel drivel. Scenes that could have simply been explained with words and an interesting scene involving our main characters were superimposed and merged with flashbacks. Again, this goes back to my original statement that the viewers are supposed morons.

The Da Vinci Code is mildly interesting considering it is mainly just a shell of its printed bretheren. Most would certainly be better off reading the book and having a better time.

[Sidenote: I found it extremely ironic that The Omen trailer played before this movie.]

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