Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Davinci Code Review

Well, the wife and I went to see The Davinci Code opening weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed it as did she. It's one of the few movies I've seen where they actually followed the book fairly closely. Sure they had to cut a few things out for times sake but I think the movie does justice to the book.

I can't really understand why the critics panned this movie. Lets look at this.

They said Tom Hanks was stiff and gave a lackluster performance. I'd have to disagree. I thought he did a good job portraying Robert Langdon. The character is a professor, not an action hero. What were the critics expecting? Harrison Ford? Robert Langdon isn't supposed to be an action hero and this movie isn't supposed to be Indiana Jones.

The movie was too slow and too "talky"? I guess with movies like Indiana Jones, the Tomb Raider movies, The Mummy, Romancing the Stone etc.. The critics expect all archeological type movies to be action thrillers. The Davinci Code is more of a thought provoking, intellectual mystery. It shouldn't be non-stop action like MI3. And besides, there were several good action scenes in the movie.

There was no "spark" between Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou. Well, there wasn't supposed to be. They aren't lovers. They didn't develop a romance in the book. It's more like a teacher-student relationship or a father-daughter one. Their relationship in the movie is exactly how it's supposed to be.

One thing the critics did like was Ian McKellan and I'd have to agree. He was perfect in the role of Teabing. He's been on a roll latley with this movie, The Lord of The Rings, The X-men and the latest Harry Potter.

I have a theory. I think most critics who panned the movie didn't read the book. Aside from the controversies played out in the media, they didn't really know what the book was like or what it was about. They were probably expecting a different kind of movie (i.e. Indiana Jones) and were thus disappointed. Aditionally, with all of the hype this book and the movie has generated over the last few years (best selling book in history other than the bible), they expected the greatest movie ever made. And it wasn't, but it was still very good. There are also probably critics who read the book and didn't like it, so were prepared to not like the movie as well.

S has her own theory. She thinks the Catholic church pressured these critics into panning the movie to try and discourage people from seeing it. Could this be another Catholic Church conspiracy? I don't think so. Some of the critics may be devout Christians in disguise who would have panned the movie whether the Church told them to or not but I can't imagine most critics succumbing to pressure from the Church. The Church doesn't have that kind of power anymore. But they used to. According to my father, when he was a boy the local bishop in the town where he grew up would release a list each week of approved movies and a list of which movies Catholics were not allowed to see. And his Catholic friends followed those orders. They wouldn't dream of seeing a movie on the unapproved list. Some of that power lingers today in the older generation. My dad said some of his Catholic friends won't go see the movie because The Church says it's blasphemous. I don't think the younger generation cares too much. It's hard to take the Catholic Church seriously these days. When I think of the Catholic Church I get a mental image of Father Guido Sarducci selling Pope-soap-on-a-rope.

The bottom line: If you liked the book then you'll like the movie. And seeing as how millions have read and enjoyed the book, the movie's going to do big business despite what the critics say. If you haven't read the book and you're not a devout Catholic you'll probably like the movie too. Even Christians with an open mind could find the movie intersting and enjoyable. After all, it's just an intersting story. A work of fiction... Just like the Bible.

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