The Da Vinci Code Movie Review

The Da Vinci Code Movie Review
The Da Vinci Code opens as Robert Langton (Tom Hanks) is giving a lecture in Paris on symbols, his speciality. Across town, a colleague, Jacques Sauniere (Jean-Pierre Marielle) is being chased through the Louvre Museum by an albino in monk dress looking for "the key".

Later, during a book signing for his latest book titled the Sacred Feminine, a police officer interrupts with a gruesome picture of the curator dead, naked and spread eagle on the floor of the museum with a crude bloody pentacle on his chest. Langton is surprised to learn that other than the gunshot wound to the abdomen Sauniere did this to himself. The police lure Langton to the murder scene under the guise of using his expertise to aide in deciphering more clues left by the deceased. Langton willingly goes.

While at the museum he meets Captain Fache (Jean Reno) who begins to interrogate him about his whereabouts and his relationship with the victim. As Langton starts to get nervous, in walks Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), a cryptologist for the department. She says she was sent with an urgent message from his embassy and he must call immediately. She hands him a piece of paper with the number. What she has really given him is the number to her voice mail with a message from her. A warning that he is the one and only suspect for this murder. What ensues is a modern day search to discover the Holy Grail and the real murderer.

This movie if you don't already know is based on the insanely successful #1 best seller of the same name by Dan Brown. Had I not read the book I'm sure I would have enjoyed the movie more (probably no surprise here). I kept trying to anticipate what they would do next and ended up disappointed when things were left out. This does not make it a bad movie. I'm confirming it is difficult to enjoy after reading the book.

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The movie attempts to be as faithful as it can in the three hours allotted. I didn't mind most of the character choices. I had read some complaints about Tom Hanks in the role but I found him believable and acceptable. Ian McKellan is always an excellent villain and his portrayal of Sir Leigh Teabing is no different. Audrey Tautou is quite the shapeshifter in her roles. As Sophie she is soft with an underlying strength required for her character. But I didn't feel the chemistry the book has between her and Langton. Paul Bettany (forever my Chaucer) who plays the albino Silas was a bit of a disappointment to me. Even his whitening makeup was obvious in some scenes and the trademark eyes were missing.

A very important scene at the end where (SPOILER) Sophie reunites with her brother was not included. I think this was a pivotal reunion for Sophie's character. Her reunion with her grandmother was also anticlimactic. Sophie played a very small role in the discovery of the grail other than providing a personal history. I remember her being a stronger character academically and more involved in the code cracking in the book.

Overall, it was a good movie. Mystery, action, history, intrigue and the continual battle of good against evil. Entertaining.

Ron Howard, Columbia Pictures, 2006

M. E. Wood lives in Eastern Ontario, Canada. If you are going to find this eclectic reader and writer anywhere it is probably at her computer. For more information visit her official website.

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Review - The Da Vinci Code

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