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The Da Vinci Code [2006] - 6.98

Critics and controversy aside, The Da Vinci Code is a verifiable blockbuster. Combine the film's huge worldwide box-office take with over 100 million copies of Dan Brown's book sold, and The Da Vinci Code has clearly made the leap from pop-culture hit to a certifiable franchise (games and action figures are sure to follow). The leap for any story making the move from book to big screen, however, is always more perilous. In the case of The Da Vinci Code, the story is concocted of such a preposterous formula of elements that you wouldn't envy Akiva Goldsman, the screenwriter who was handed a potentially unfilmable book and asked to make a filmable script out of it. Goldsman's solution was to have the screenplay follow the book as closely as possible, with a few needed changes, including a better ending. The result is a film that actually makes slightly better entertainment than the book.

So if you're like most of the world, by now you've read the book and know that it starts out as a murder mystery. While lecturing in Paris, noted Harvard Professor of Symbology Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is summoned to the Louvre by French police help decipher a bizarre series of clues left at the scene of the murder of the chief curator, Jacques Sauniere. Enter Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), gifted cryptologist and Sauniere's granddaughter. Neveu and Langdon are forced to team up to solve the mystery, and from there the story is propelled across Europe as it balloons into a modern-day mini-quest for the Holy Grail, complete with alternative theories about the life of Christ, ancient secret societies headed by historical figures like Leonardo Da Vinci, secret codes, conniving bishops, daring escapes, car chases, and, of course, a murderous albino monk controlled by a secret master who calls himself "The Teacher."

Taken solely as a mystery thriller, the movie almost works--despite some gaping holes--mostly just because it keeps moving forward at the breakneck pace set in the book. Brown's greatest trick might have been to have the entire story take place in a day so that the action is forced to keep going, despite some necessary pauses for exposition. Hanks and Tautou are just fine together but not exactly a memorable screen pair; meanwhile, Sir Ian McKellen's scenery-chewing as pivotal character Sir Leigh Teabing is just what the film needs to keep it from taking itself too seriously. In the end, this hit movie is just like a good roller-coaster ride: try not to think too much about it--just sit back and enjoy the trip. --Daniel Vancini, Amazon.com

Customer reviews (av rating: 3.0):

Rating: 1:
A waste of time and money : A flat and uninspired rendering of the book. Very unusual for today's films, it actually suffers from too much plot and not enough characterisation. This is because it simply follows the plot driven novel to a T-there is no new creative input that's gone into it. It is a lazy facsimile of the book. And Hanks would not have been my choice for the professor.

Rating: 1:
Too Adherent To A Poor Book : It almost seems as though the director has thought 'oh, great book, lets not bother with a screeplay'. The obvious problem with that reasoning is that the book was mediocre at best.
So the producer roped in a big star (Tom Hanks), hoping his acting will save the day. But what use is convincing acting when your co-star is wooden, and your working with cliched lines which are enough to make people cringe.
Not to mention the plot, overblown nonsense, unconvincing tripe that never manages to hold the audience. Hanks, I imagine, only agreed to do this due to the inexplicable popularity of the book (he must simply not have read it), or perhaps for a large sum of money. Whichever, he made a bad choice here, but I suppose all actors do at some point.
There is no 'chemistry' for the love story, there are no visual treats to break up the mundane pedantry of the plot, no comic relief even, which would have at least served to rouse some interest.
Overall, dire. One of the worst films I have had the misfortune to see.

Rating: 4:
Very enjoyable : I thought this was a very good film with plenty of twists to the plot and some very good acting. Paul Bettany is great as Silas although his accent is sometimes a little dodgy.

The scenes introducing Robert Langdon were brilliant I enjoyed the different takes on the symbols shown.

The treasure hunt nature of the film is quite enjoyable and seeing the solutions to the clues is good. The interplay between the characters is well played out.

The film is obviously a better film if you have an interest in catholic mythology (personaly i include the bible in the mythology heading rather than fact but that is irrelevant). This is a work of fiction and is a fun film to watch.

Rating: 3:
Not bad : I quite enjoyed this film and love Tom Hanks in the lead role. If you're looking to buy this to see every detail from the book jump out at you from your TV (or you're looking to get out of reading the book completely), I can't promise you'll enjoy this film. The film is fast paced as with the book but there are several things missed out from the book. Although there are a lot of page-to-screen films out there that haven't quite pulled it off for me, I did quite like this one and I can't wait to see the other Dan Brown novels turned into films if they are as well done as this one.

Some excellent performances from the main stars and some stunning backdrops to look out for as well.

Not fantastic but it will pass a dull Sunday.

Rating: 1:
Boring from 15-th minute to the end of movie : Horribly boring movie, that was an object of many critics'. Really have no idea why people was so crazy about this movie, because scenario, acting and everything at all is absolute zero.

I know that when was a premiere of movie is Russia, many people - critics and most of them famous singers, actors come to watch it. All main cinema of Moscow was full of people, but in 30 minutes people begin to leave cinema and to end of movie stayed maximum half of hall.

I tried to watch this movie, to find it interesting and first 15 minutes even promised that rest of movie have to be exiting. But to the end of movie i was almost sleeping. Last 15 minutes i even didn't saw - couldn't stand it anymore. BORING! And even Tom Hanks didn't manages to save this film. One of the worse movie's of 2006.

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