Thursday was Chris’ birthday (Happy Birthday, baby!). The kids wanted to take him out to a movie for his birthday, since he rarely (if ever) goes to a proper theater to see a movie (he always waits for Blockbuster or Netflix). So, we pre-bought tickets for The DaVinci Code and slipped them in his birthday card.
We were both a little skeptical because of the poor reviews it had received from Cannes, and various other places – but we went with open minds because we both loved the book so much. You gotta figure – a Ron Howard film starring Tom Hanks, how bad can it be, really?
I do have to say that it wasn’t Hanks’ BEST work, by far – but it was not the absolute flop I’d heard about in the reviews, either. Chris and I both enjoyed the film. The kids enjoyed the film, too – – though they complained about it being a little too long for their tastes…but in the ends, they each found it both an interesting story, and movie worth sitting through – and for teenagers? That’s saying a lot.
Maybe because we had read the book prior to seeing the movie – we both felt that the movie didn’t give you the same edge-of-your-seat-o-wow-what-happens-next-can’t-put-it-down kind of feeling that the book did, but it was a good movie, nonetheless – and well worth the money spent on the tickets and overpriced, kind of stale, lukewarm popcorn.
We were both really impressed with how faithful the film was to the book – in that regard, we weren’t disappointed in any sense.
The performance by Tom Hanks? So-so. Really, I was somewhat disappointed with his performance and felt he could have done so much more (I’m still imagining Nicolas Cage in that role vis-Ã -vis National Treasure) – and I found absolutely zero on-screen chemistry between Hanks and his young co-star, Audrey Tautou.
My favorite character in the movie was Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing. He did a really phenomenal job as the grail-obsessed historian turned bad guy. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with a McKellen performance, however – so maybe I’m a little biased.
To cast a Latin-speaking, self-flagellating, monk-hooded, freaky-eyed albino psycho, Paul Bettany is clearly your man for the job.
That much aside, when you have a plot line like The DaVinci Code – I imagine the grandiose ideas, concepts and incredible amounts of history, questionable history and back stories – character development would be somewhat difficult.
I can see why it has Catholics in an uproar, however. From a religious point of view – it is quite a blasphemous story if, indeed, your faith and belief system lie within the confines of the Holy Bible.
But – there were no riots, protests, flag burnings or be-headings over the movie – so kudos to that group for not going the way of the Mohammad Cartoon dissenters. The Catholic Church, and Christians from all over the globe, let their views be heard and known in a humane, dignified and rational manner.
All in all, the movie is really nothing to get your shorts in a bundle over. It’s a work of fiction that was an incredibly gripping and thought provoking story in a book – – and a lukewarm rendition done in film.