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Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Review: The Da Vinci Code (Film)


I have this perverse streak in me--the more popular something becomes, the less likely I am to read it (if it's a book) or watch it (for a movie)--and The Da Vinci Code was huge. This is why it took me nearly ten years to see the movie, and the only reason I watched it now was that it was free to stream for Amazon Prime members and I wanted to watch something that I thought my dad would like, too.

For the ten people out there who don't know what The Da Vinci Code is about when a man is murdered inside the Louvre, he leaves a message that seems to implicate Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks), a professor of symbology at Harvard in his death. This leads Langdon down a dangerous path of murder and intrigue as he tries to clear his name and find out what is happening with the help of a French police officer, Sophie Neveu (played by Audrey Tautou).

I'll confess that I found the first third of the movie or so to be confusing. I actually had to stop playing on the computer and pay attention to the film. My dad kept asking me questions and I'm like: I don't know and stop asking because I'm missing stuff that's happening and getting more lost.

Things became clearer as the story moved along, but my bad habit of doing two things at once and the fact that the film was moving fast and probably skating over stuff that the author the book, Dan Brown, had spent more time on made it hard to keep up. There were also English subtitles for the dialogue that was in French, and because I was looking at the computer instead of the TV, I missed some of it.

Despite my confusion, I quickly found myself riveted by the story. Even my dad, who said he didn't plan to stay up until the end of the film, became involved--and he did stay up until it was over. I'm trying to think of a movie Ron Howard has directed that wasn't good, but can't think of any.

Ian McKellen was brilliant as the grail professor living in France. I worried about his safety and then was shocked when he turned out to be one of the bad guys. I'm still not sure if he was part of Opus Dei or simply after the secret of the grail for himself, but wow. Until a minute or two before he was revealed, I didn't guess his true motives.

I was a few minutes ahead on figuring out who Sophie really was, too. You know, this was pretty cool because usually I know what's going on way, way before it's revealed in whatever film I'm watching. That steals some of the fun from the movie. On the other hand, I liked coming up with the right answers shortly before they were revealed because then it made me feel smart. And after the beginning where I'm sitting there like huh? it was nice to feel like I wasn't an idiot.

Tom Hanks gave an enjoyable performance, but then I generally like him in whatever movie he's in. I also liked Audrey Tautou as his co-star. I thought the film might strike up a love interest between them, but it didn't and that worked, too. As fast-paced as the plot was, there really wasn't room for a romance, too.

When the movie ended, I went to go buy the book--and found out I already owned an ebook version of it. Oops! I decided I wanted to read it to find out what, exactly, was going on in the beginning, but since I'd had it since 2013 and hadn't read it, I picked up the audio book too. I figure I have a better chance of finding time to listen than time to read. Besides, my dad has the ebook reader right now and he's reading The Da Vinci Code.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and the suspense was intense. Recommended.
My rating: 4 Stars.

DISCLAIMER: I received no compensation of any kind for this review or for any site or product mentioned in this review.