Review: The Da Vinci Code

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Audrey Tautou, Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code
Audrey Tautou, Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code



“What, [dodges bullet] you mean Jesus wasn’t really the Son of God [jumps into speeding car] and married Mary Magdalene [hijacks armoured vehicle] who bore a child who [takes plane to an England full of half-timbered cars] established a bloodline which [evades knife-thrust of albino monk] if it were ever to become public knowledge would [accidentally shoots cardinal] undermine the power of the Catholic Church [garrottes nun]?”

There’s plenty more of this sort of carry-on in director Ron Howard’s almost satisfying attempt to turn Dan Brown’s 560 pages of lecture-chase-lecture into something cinematic. And it had to be made into a movie – the sales figures of the book said so. But did a decent director like Ron Howard have to do it? Did someone hold a gun to his head? Maybe, after Cinderella Man (aka Russell Crowe’s Rocky), Howard owed someone a favour. Either way, here it is, with Tom Hanks starring, but barely registering, Audrey Tautou ditto. Only Ian McKellen really grasps that this is a gigantic nonsense and, by Simon Callow, doesn’t he have a fine old time as a crusty academic. To be fair to everyone, it works. Just.

© Steve Morrissey 2006


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The Da Vinci Code (2006) Mystery, Thriller | 149min | 19 May 2006 (USA) 6.6
Director: Ron HowardWriter: Akiva Goldsman, Dan BrownStars: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean RenoSummary: 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 ...


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