A murder inside the Louvre, and clues in Da Vinci paintings, lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years, which could shake the foundations of Christianity.
Dan Brown's controversial best-selling novel about a powerful secret that's been kept under wraps for thousands of years comes to the screen in this suspense thriller from Director Ron Howard. The stately silence of Paris' Louvre museum is broken when one of the gallery's leading curators is found dead on the grounds, with strange symbols carved into his body and left around the spot where he died. Hoping to learn the significance of the symbols, police bring in Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), a gifted cryptographer who is also the victim's granddaughter. Needing help, Sophie calls on Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a leading symbolized from the United States. As Sophie and Robert dig deeper into the case, they discover the victim's involvement in the Priory of Sion, a secret society whose members have been privy to forbidden knowledge dating back to the birth of Christianity. In their search, Sophie and Robert happen upon evidence that could lead to the final resting place of the Holy ...
When Teabing (Sir Ian McKellen) is describing the passage in the lost gospel of Philip, he is interrupted before he can finish quoting a line about Jesus kissing Magdelene. During an interview on NPR's "Day to Day", religious historian Elaine Pagels (whose book on the gnostic gospels was a source for Dan Brown's novel) said that the gospel is physically broken at exactly the place that Teabing stops talking, so he would be unable to quote it any further anyway. See more »
(at around 7 mins) The cilice that Silas is wearing is not designed to draw blood or even break the skin, as the movie leads the viewer to believe. See more »
Stop now. Tell me where it is.
You and your brethren possess what is not rightfully yours.
I... I don't know what you are talking about.
Is it a secret you will die for?
As you wish.
See more »
SPOILER: In the closing credits, there are special thanks to "Marie de Paris". This refers to the Mayor of Paris. This does not refer to Mary of Paris. See more »
An extended version is available on DVD and is 26 minutes longer. The additional scenes include, among others, Sophie threatening to deface 'The Madonna of the rocks' to aid her and Langdon's escape from the Louvre, flashbacks of Silas killing the other Senechaux, Silas' escape from Prison, Collet discovering the surveillance room, Fache debriefing and apologizing to Langdon and Sophie, and a scene is which Sophie and Langdon discuss religion during the flight sequence. Many verbal exchanges between characters in many scenes are extended. See more »
Hanks and Howards best work, both together or separately, have been when they embrace intrinsically American values in their films. All their most memorable movies have involved individuals overcoming hardship through an unshakable belief in love and courage, usually set against an outwardly US-centric interpretation of events. Think Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Cinderella Man, Saving Private Ryan - all fine films, all centred on an American hero rising above their circumstance.
What is conspicuously absent from either man's resume is a European-set, religious-themed mystery thriller. Having sat through their arduous, laborious adaptation of Dan Brown's novel, I can now see why.
The plot is total bunkum - a hodgepodge of "what ifs" and "oh my god" moments spun on the ludicrous premise that Leonardo Da Vinci had some sort of insight into the life of Christ - but loopy story lines have not stopped many films from being enjoyable.
What makes The Da Vinci Code so deathly dull is the heavy-handed, oh-so-serious approach Howard applies to the material. Combining with his cinematographer to give the film a sleepy nocturnal feel (not so clever given the 150min running time), Howard's film is just a constant flow of expository clues that fail to create any tension or engender his leads with any human qualities. Even for those that haven't read the book, a couple of obligatory 'big twists' in the story are very obvious from early-on.
Hanks (looking more like Jim Belushi than ever) and McKellen blather on and on and on about knights and saints and symbols and God as if they were giving a lecture at some Ivy-league school for the supernatural; Audrey Tautou is lovely but has little to do in a role that is plot- not character-driven. Jean Reno ambles thru another of his token French cop parts (he was better in the Pink Panther); Paul Bettany's evil albino Silas at least got some audience reaction, though giggles and guffaws were probably not what he was hoping for.
Whatever sense of fun and excitement the book provided is fully-drained from this adaptation. Come credit time, I had the realisation that all this hokey, airport-novel religious hooey and B-movie plotting would've made for a great X-files episode in that series heyday. As the end-product of a publishing phenomenon and carrying the tag "Years Most-Anticipated", its a boring dud.
389 of 783 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this