The Da Vinci Code Review
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Last year, an exhibition of Da Vinci machines came to our local museum. This was proof, as if proof were necessary, of just what a clever old chap Leo was, with lots of little working replicas of the things he'd invented. And though the exhibit was quite small, and I wasn't in there for more than about an hour, it felt like time well spent. Much better, in fact, than the 149 excruciating minutes I wasted watching The Da Vinci Code.

Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is a professor of iconology (perhaps he can reveal what Prince's funny squiggle name really meant?) who gets roped into helping the French police investigate a murder in the Louvre. But hed better watch out, because there's a masochistic, albino assassin on the loose, who also happens to be a monk on the payroll of Opus Dei, a little-known Catholic faction. With the help of demure French sleuth Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), Robert finds himself caught up in a bizarre plot to try to locate the whereabouts of Mary Magdalene's bones, and thus prove Christ was more of a man than the powers at be would have us believe. And if you can swallow all of that BS, then you'll probably enjoy the film. I, unfortunately, could not.

  
 
Recognisable bit-players come and go along the way. Sir Ian McKellan gives an over-the-top performance as an academic friend of Langdon's, who starts out as a goodie but then becomes a baddie. Jean Reno (the stock French actor who's wheeled out whenever there's need for a gritty, European type) plays a haggard detective, who starts out as a baddie but then becomes a goodie. Alfred Molina gnashes his teeth as an Opus Dei bishop, but I'm not sure which side he finally ends up on. Throughout all of this Tom Hanks blends into the background, as his character has absolutely no screen presence whatsoever.

The script and the storyline leave a lot to be desired. More often than not, the plot seemed to be dictating the characters' actions, whereas I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around.

I'd like to end on a positive note, perhaps mention a redeeming feature that made the movie bearable, if not exactly enjoyable, but there isn't one. It's a dour, dowdy, overly serious waste of time. Apparently though, it's a book as well, so perhaps you'd be better off trying that. But movies, on the whole, don't make good books, and vice-versa.

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