VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 12/27/2010
Title: The Da Vinci Code (DVD) Review Word Count: 574 Summary: The Da Vinci Code as a novel is an international bestselling phenomeno n, but The Da Vinci Code as a movie is bound to be long forgotten by y ear_s end. Directed by Ron Howard, the Hollywood veteran behind such m emorable films as A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man, this adaptation of Dan Brown_s religious thriller is 149 minutes of monotonous exposi tion and tedious European spy thril ler clichés. What makes Dan Brown_s novels so popular is the narrative background Keywords: on such subje... da vinci code dvd review Article Body: The Da Vinci Code as a novel is an international bestselling phenomeno n, but The Da Vinci Code as a movie is bound to be long forgotten by y ear_s end. Directed by Ron Howard, the Hollywood veteran behind such m emorable films as A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man, this adaptation of Dan Brown_s religious thriller is 149 minutes of monotonous exposi tion and tedious European spy thril ler clichés. What makes Dan Brown_s novels so popular is the narrative background on such subjects as cry ptography, secret societies, religi ous orders, and alternative history . But it_s difficult to translate s uch ideas to the big screen, and it _s here that The Da Vinci Code fail s as a commercial thriller. Entire scenes are composed of lectures on the history of Christianity and the life of Leonardo Da Vinci. Michael Crichton has a similar style of wr iting that focuses on scientific br eakthroughs and cutting-edge techno logy, but his novels adapt better t o the big screen. Whereas Jurassic Park briefly lectured audiences on the inner-workings of DNA, then qui ckly jumped to two hours of dinosau rs terrorizing people, The Da Vinci Code keeps explaining, hypothesizi ng, and lecturing only to leave its audience hanging. The ideas are in triguing, but they make for a far b etter novel than silver screen bloc kbuster. Minus the interesting conj ecture, the film is nothing more th an a poorly written 1970s drugstore spy thriller& Tom Hanks plays the lead role of Ro bert Langdon, a Harvard professor o f religious symbology lecturing in Paris. When Jacques Sauniere (Jean- Pierre Marielle), curator of the Lo uvre, is found murdered and strange ly positioned in his famous museum, local authorities initially consul t Langdon for his expertise. But th e professor soon learns from Saunie re_s granddaughter, government cryp tologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tauto u), that he and the prime suspect a re one and the same. Creating a div ersion for the police, the two disc over a hidden trail of clues create d by Sauniere in the moments before his death, clues that just might l ead them to most elusive treasure i n human history _ the Holy Grail. W ith InterPol hot on their trail, an d the true murderer still at large, Langdon and Neveu enlist the help of Grail historian Leigh Teabing (I an McKellen) to teach them the hist ory of the Grail_s protectors, The Priory of Scion, and to help them u ncover the endless clues that promi se to unravel a 2,000 year mystery& Despite the remarks of most critics , Tom Hanks_ performance is not atr ocious. Although his character is b land at best, he wasn_t given much with which to work. Robert Langdon_ s lack of development is more attri butable to poorly written dialogue and poor choices in direction. Ron Howard tries to cover up some of th e excessive dialogue with visual im ages, but narrative is still narrat ive even with flashback sequences. Audrey Tautou delivers her lines we ll, but suffers from the same const raints as her Academy Award-winning screen partner. The only shining p erformance is provided by Ian McKel len as the eccentric and charming G rail expert, Leigh Teabing. Some of his one-liners add a bit of comic relief, but they_re only band-aids on the gushing head wound that is t his film. In the end, The Da Vinci Code is a lesson on the distinction between two differing mediums. Mov ies haven_t replaced books, or vice -versa, for a reason. Sometimes, it _s just better to read the book. In the case of The Da Vinci Code, thi s is one of those moments...
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