Saturday, May 20, 2006

'Da Vinci' a dud

Let’s get one thing straight. “The Da Vinci Code” is not a good movie.

Director Ron Howard's film is long, it’s boring, it builds to nothing and its liberties with history are laughable. By the end of this 2-hour plus mess, things are scattered like toys in the yard – and you don’t feel like picking up the pieces.

Unless you’ve been in a cave, you know the story. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) investigates a murder at the Louvre in Paris, only to stumble onto “the greatest cover-up of all time,” with the help of French police officer Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou). This could have been a thinking person’s “Indiana Jones.” Instead it’s just one big yawn.

Oh, it has its moments. The plot finally starts to build midway through. Then it lumbers along, flies off on tangents, leaves you not caring whether this darned thing gets figured out, even if it supposedly is going to shake the foundations of our society. I had the film’s “other” big secret figured out in 30 minutes.

Ian McKellen shines ever so briefly as the old professor who helps Langdon and Neveu, but he’s taken away too soon, in a clichéd role, of all things. Hanks, so good as “Forrest Gump” and in 10 other roles, sleepwalks here, and never reaches his stride.

And that controversy thing? Forget about it. Yeah, it’s all in here. But this film isn’t going to sway anybody’s beliefs. Anybody with any biblical knowledge at all knows that all this is just spit in the wind.

The only faith “The Da Vinci Code” shattered for me is that Hollywood could ever again figure out how to make a decent summer blockbuster.

Oh, well, there’s always the new “Superman.”

“The Da Vinci Code” is now playing at Halls Cinema 7. It is rated PG-13.


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