I don’t know exactly what propelled me to the local cinema palace yesterday to view The Da Vinci Code. Maybe I was expecting a charming romp with the mop-of-curls Tom Hanks of yesteryear – coping with convoluted Catholic coverups, cavorting with big-eyed French beauties, foiling evil albinos, and going toe-to-toe with real actors like Ian MacKellan and Jean Reno.
What I got was one of the most boring two and a half hours I can remember (I left before the end), The film was leaden with exposition, totally unconvincing in plot and suspense, all counterpointed with a sound track that was supposed to carry the whole sloppy mess. Director Ron Howard started by miscasting the lead role, which called for a young Harrison Ford; interspersing some elementary special effects and clever flashbacks which related to nothing, and allowing endless talk which was seldom interesting.
Everybody in the movie seemed to have to explain something to somebody, even though the person receiving the explanation didn’t care about it. Neither did I.
Is there someone out there who is shocked that in its beginning the church bent some truths in order to build a constituency? Is this a point that people are willing to die for – a “conspiracy”? Is it news to anybody at this time in history? Does it matter?
Is it exciting to watch such rituals as self-flagellation? Why was so much of it necessary? (and for that matter, do not albinos actually have red eyeballs, and is that effect not possible to achieve in this day of contact lenses? If so, what is the point of having an albino character? Is there something eerie about a guy just having white hair?) I didn’t see anything weird about the albino, except perhaps his constant whipping himself. It was bad enough that he was so mindless as to try to kill everybody the bishop told him to. He carried less a sense of menace than just the psyochopathic obsession of your ordinary young guy with white hair and a cat-o-nine-tails.
There was supposed to be a love interest within the story line, but until Ian MacKellan’s character mentioned it this had not been apparent. Why was it not developed? The film could use a little romance, yet there wasn’t any room for it with all the explaining of religious symbolism and doctrine going on. Who were these people, and what was holding them together?
Audrey Daudet’s character was supposed to be non-religious and really uninterested in anything the Church might suggest. I didn't quite believe the wide-eyed beauty, and felt that if she had had some slight waffling here it might have added to the intrigue. I can’t imagine that anyone watching the film didn’t know from the first that it was going to be her role to be the posterity of the Divine.
I spent the first of the movie promising myself that I could leave after the an hour passed if this thing didn't get any better, but by then Ian MacKellan was on. He was interesting enough that I gave it a little more time and then a little more; at last a few hours had passed and we had Tom Hanks and Audrey in the cellar of the church trying to sort things out with people surrounding them, I left without finding out who the people filing in were or what they thought they could do about this matter. I couldn’t have cared less. If they knew that she was the descendent of Jesus, the last in the line, and a female to boot, of course she had to die. But I had to get to a hair appointment, and that was infinitely more important than finding out about this.
I look adorable in my new haircut, and I hope nobody ever asks me what I thought of The Da Vinci Code.