04 May 2008

The DaVinci Code (PG13)

I must admit the movie adaptation of “The Da Vinci Code” left me flat.

The story begins when police call on cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) to the scene of a murder. She arrives to find that the victim is her grandfather, a pentacle carved into his chest. She calls Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a notable symbologist, for help interpreting the meaning of the peculiar slaying. Thus begins the search for the murderer, which eventually turns into something much, much bigger. Eventually, they discover the secret of the Holy Grail and the secret orders that grew around it. I won’t say anymore than that, but warn that it may conflict with some folk’s view of the history of Christ.

Personally, I’d have cast anyone else over Tom Hanks. He took otherwise contrived dialogue and made it even more so. He did, however, shine in the action scenes. Audrey Tautou was fine in her role, but it was Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing who stole the show for me. Even with your eyes closed, he’s a pleasure to watch.

Where the dialogue lacks, the presentation exceeds. “The Da Vinci Code” weaves plot with history, eventually merging the two. Entire centuries roll before your eyes, all through a filter that seems to set the scene in stone. The camera angles, too, were reminiscent of film noir. The effects blended with controversial history make this movie a must-see for all conspiracists, Templar fans and mystery movie buffs.

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