Da Vinci Code, the - Crack This!

Duration: 149min
Category: Adventure
Available: On DVD
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Before I review this film, I must confess two things. First, I am one of the few people on the planet who has never read The Da Vinci Code. Second, I hate Ron Howard’s work as a film maker… with the sole exception of Parenthood which still makes me laugh after all these years (“here’s one for my wallet!”).

Because of these two things, as well as the overwhelmingly bad reviews that came out before this film was released, I was surprised to find myself enjoying The Da Vinci Code.

The Da Vinci Code isn’t a great movie, but it’s a great deal of fun. Critics call the movie “dull” but that is really the last word that can describe this film. The plot is very intricate, although absurd, so much of the film’s running time is filled with exposition and explanation. There is always something new happening to fit this story into its running time. I can see why people call the novel a “page turner.” Howard’s film is the cinematic equivalent. I was always eager to see what was going to happen next.

I figure those critics that complain the film is “talky” don’t want their films to be involved more than taking them from one explosion to the next. For that kind of audience I recommend the underperforming Mission Impossible 3. For those that want their mind thrilled by questions and puzzles and impossible problems, The Da Vinci Code is more you kind of film.

On the down side, there is little art in Howard’s adaptation. He reaches into his usual bag of cinematic tricks. What really sells The Da Vinci Code isn’t the film making, or even the acting, which by and large is fairly first rate. Instead it’s the story. This film has a great, pulpy pot-boiler story filled with twists (although many are predictable) and mysteries. It propels you through to a satisfying end.

I also enjoyed that the leads don’t fall in love. There is no need for Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou to have a romance and they don’t. Good choice. Let’s just stick to the adventure.

For a popcorn film, The Da Vinci Code is pretty good. Unless you are such a fan of the book you can't wait for the DVD, there is little reason to experience this on the big screen as most of the thrills are more intimate and intellectual than grandiose and gaudy.

I still have no plans to read the novel. I imagine, like the movie, it’s a fun light read that isn’t going to change my life. I have too many other books sitting on my bedside table waiting to be experienced. I have experienced The Da Vinci Code and I am satisfied I got all out of it I need to.

Review By: Collin Smith

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