The Da Vinci Code Reviews
While I have not read the source material that this film bases its premise around, I never choose to compare. A film needs to work as a film first and foremost and if it happens to be a faithful adaptation on top of that, then it just pleases more people, plain and simple. For me, even if I have read a novel, I hardly ever draw comparisons. Following a murder at the Louvre, novelist/symbologist Robert Langdon and the victim's granddaughter Sophie Neveu must uncover the clues to secrets he left behind. From secrets locked away since the birth of Christ to uncovering the lies of their past, this film sends viewers on a roller-coaster ride of intense puzzles. That being said, the film as a whole does not live up its exciting premise.
While many people may not quite fully understand what I mean by this, I can't help but call this film calming and nice to watch. There is a fine line between boring and calm, but I feel that this film walks in between those perfectly. The pacing of this film, along with the very enjoyable performances from Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, and Ian McKellan, are really something to admire here. Sadly, there are moments when these aspects tarnish themselves by focussing too much on the surreal, quickly making this film feel a little less believable than it should be. The big reveal in the final act will either have you chuckling or simply accepting it. Without getting into spoilers, there is a build-up as to who or what something is and if it even still exists. When it is revealed, it felt a little forced and the film lost me. Again, the pacing saves those aspects, due to the fact that it takes itself very seriously and the performances are believable.
Ten years ago I would have strongly advised against seeing this film in theatres, but having time pass and revisiting this film after knowing what to expect and not enjoying it very much the first time around, I have come to respect this adaptation of The DaVinci Code. It is by no means a great film in any way, but it maintains its interesting elements throughout, masking the annoying side characters, the sometimes ridiculous plot, and the over-abundance of religion. I did admire some of the clever inclusions of the Catholic religion in order to make certain scenes more interesting, but when your entire film relies on a reveal that requires its audience to have certain beliefs, the film will definitely not please all audiences, and that aspect still remains to this day. All of that said, I do feel that this film gets better on multiple viewings
The DaVinci Code still offers a generous amount of thrills and its mysterious aspects are still very enjoyable to watch. The film does get a little too self-indulgent with its beliefs, but if you are able to accept the fact that this film will not hold back, you may just find yourself enjoying it quite a bit. At 150 minutes, the film does feel its length due to its slow burn, but that is the aspect I admired most about this film. Its soothing performance from Tom Hanks, meshed with very intriguing dialogue throughout each scene when something is about to be revealed made me feel relaxed. For a specific audience, this film could possibly be the best film they have ever seen, but The DaVinci Code relies too much on that to carry the overall film. I did buy into the conclusion, but it was pretty silly. Overall, although I enjoy the film more upon each viewing, it really is nothing special in the end. It tries very hard to be great, and while certain aspects are exceptional, the film as a whole is fine. I find new things to like about this picture each time, so I may give it an even higher grade in the future.
The disappointment was -spoilers- at the end. The rest was pretty decent.
Finally got around to watching this having never seen it or read the book, I was thoroughly impressed, kept guessing throughout and what a great cast.
The role is perfect for Tom Hanks and there were some great appearances in the supporting cast.
I'm looking forward to catching up on Angels & Demons next.
The Da Vinci Code 2006
?? Watched 06 Sep, 2016
Yikes. What happened here, Ron Howard?
For all of the controversy surrounding Dan Brown's 2003 best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code has all the makings for an intriguing film: a continent-trotting mystery story involving a mysterious murder, a search for the true Holy Grail, and a potential secrecy around the lives of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. Pair that with an Oscar winning screenwriter, a talented cast, and a solid director, and you have the potential for a fascinating film.
The problem with The Da Vinci Code is the presentation of all of these elements. The film is simply a bore, and makes no effort to make this adventure even remotely fun. Movies like this don't need to be fun per se, but the fact that director Ron Howard and writer Akiva Goldsman take this material so seriously (when the material is actually quite absurd) is a decision that hampers the film. Where a film like National Treasure embraces its absurdity and delivers an enjoyable time, The Da Vinci Code's refusal to infuse any charm into this story results in a product that is little more than a vessel for exposition about a crazy conspiracy.
It's strange that this comes from Ron Howard, who has proven how great of a director he can be in the past. The emotional impact of many of Howard's past efforts is hardly present here, leaving a cold shell of one of those films instead. Howard once again reteams with Tom Hanks, but somehow turns one of the most charming and charismatic actors alive into a dour character with no semblance of charm, let alone character development. The rest of the talented cast, including Audrey Tautou, Alfred Molina, Jean Reno, and Paul Bettany, are all wasted as well, and never given any moments to prove their talents. The only remotely enjoyable performance is Ian McKellan's turn as a Holy Grail enthusiast which contains some of the film's only scenes of vibrance. The other savior is Hans Zimmer's beautiful score; it's too bad it had to be used in such a downer of a movie.