Da Vinci Code... the Movie Arrives
Stephen McGarveyStephen McGarvey is the Executive Editor of Crosswalk.com and Christianity.com for the Salem Web Network. He is a World Journalism Institute fellow and has previously worked for BreakPoint with Chuck Colson, and the Home School Legal Defense Association. His articles have appeared in several publications including WORLD, The Washington Times, byFaith, BreakPoint WorldView, and the Union Leader (Manchester, NH).
- 2006 May 18
I just returned from an early screening of the Da Vinci Code film. Not only is the theology of the story off and the history suspect, the movie is pretty boring. You would think you would get a pretty good film with Ron Howard directing and Tom Hanks starring. Sadly this wasn't the case. I haven't read the novel so I approached the movie without really knowing the plot. Of course, the controversial opinions expressed by Ron Brown in the book, are well known to all.
Tom Hanks was convicing enough as Robert Langdon, the everyman Harvard professor suspected of murder and drawn in into a huge historical mystery. But unfortuanately not even the gravitas of Mr. Hanks can save this movie. There isn't alot of tension in the story that lumbers on awkwardly for two and a half hours. Brief moments of action seem only to punctuate the long historical discourse. At times the history is portrayed in monocrome flashbacks, but they don't do much to relieve the tedium. I spent most of my time in the theater trying to get my head confusing story; there are so many chachters mixed up in this far-fetched tale its practically impossible to keep them all straight.
In the trade paper Daily Variety, critic Todd McCarthy called "The Da Vinci Code" a "stodgy, grim thing...
"Sitting through all the verbose explanations and speculations about symbols, codes, secret cults, religious history and covert messages in art, it is impossible to believe that, had the novel never existed, such a script would ever have been considered by a Hollywood studio," McCarthy wrote.
Apparently at the Cannes Film Festival, critics were laughing through the movie's most serious moments:
Laughter rippled through the theater near the end of the film at the Cannes press screening Tuesday night when Hanks' character, symbologist Robert Langdon, reveals a key secret to co-star Audrey Tautou with ponderous melodrama.
From then on, critics who had sat largely in polite silence for more than two hours tittered at will as the final scenes played out.
"It's not a good sign when your film's big revelatory moment is greeted with laughter," wrote Stephen Schaefer, a film writer for The Boston Herald.
Be sure to check out Crosswalk.com's official review on the Da Vinci Code on www.crosswalk.com\fun\movies
The American Enterprise offers a great perspective on the hype that has surrounded the movie in recent months:
“Imagine, if you can, a major studio releasing a thriller in which the stars investigate the origins of Islam. Pursued by a murderous Muslim cleric, they uncover a series of shocking discoveries: Mohammed was no prophet! The Koran is a hoax, the work of self-serving hypocrites! Modern-day Muslims are dupes, if not deranged psychopaths!”
Read the complete article: Cheering the Code After Punching the Passion.
Christians should certainly be familiar with the controversies raised by the Da Vinci Code. But a movie with weak entertainment value is not going to do alot to further Dan Brown's case against Christianity.