Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Brief Review of The Da Vinci Code

Spoiler Alert

Beth and I caught an early showing today. We liked it. I did not think that it was a dog by any stretch of the imagination. We're not sure that someone could have followed it very well without having read the novel, which Beth and I both just finished for the 2nd time. I thought the casting was great. I liked the score. Ron Howard definitely toned down somewhat the strident anti-orthodoxy of the book. Unlike the book, Langdon argues with Teabing and doesn't accept all his assumptions. Howard strings through the movie a story not in the novel about Langdon praying to Jesus to save him from a fall into a well when he was a child. It really felt that Howard was trying to cover all the major bases of the book and this made the movie feel long. Someone elsewhere wrote that if you read and liked the book that you would like the movie. That feels about right. Beth and I didn't like the way Howard portrayed Langdon figuring out codes using special effects in the same way that he showed John Nash doing it in A Beautiful Mind. However, I very much liked the way that the movie showed history flashbacks. Langdon and Sophie walking into a church with an overlay of historical figures attending an ancient funeral was very creative and well-done. I also liked the way that the remaining Priory of Sion members gathered and greeted Sophie in the church at the end of the movie; this was not in the book. The historical accuracy of the story's backstory, of course, was off as has been abundantly demonstrated elsewhere.

I give it a 7 out of 10. The movie didn't blow me away but I'll probably watch it again on DVD.

fwiw, our theatre at about noon here in Suburban Baltimore on a Saturday wasn't full at all.

1 comment:

Scruples said...

Thanks for the review Stephen. I am off to see it this afternoon.

I think it is time for Christians to have some fun with the Da Vinci Code. I read somewhere that Dan Brown is a committed Christian. Hmmm! I wonder if this Da Vinci code is the biggest hoax ever played on the church since they supposedly found Noah's Ark on Mt Ararat. I wonder if Brown is watching all the hand wringing and denunciations and attention being paid to his book with great glee.

So I decided if you can’t beat him, join him! Not in the sense I agree with his take on history or Jesus but in the sense I like the fun he is having with us all in discovering fanciful conspiracies and using codes to hide explosive truths. I am not alone in this, the judge, Peter Smith, in the copyright infringement trial between Brown and the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail encoded a message in his judgment.

I have posted an article at my blog entitled "The Clergy Conspiracy – Decode this Post to Uncover An Explosive Truth!" I sent out the email yesterday and I have already had a number of replies or guesses at what the code spells.

Here is an additional clue. The number of letters in the sequence to be decoded is 20. Anyone want to give it a try? Click here.