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Da Vinci Code: Review

May 23rd, 2006

I took a Dan Brown Fan to see the movie rendition of The Da Vinci Code Sunday night. The movie was playing at 6:30, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 9:30 and 10:00. For all those showings, the viewing I went too was as full as any movie I have been to in years; it was, in fact, full.

The critics have, of course, universally panned this movie. The one star and one and a half star reviews are patently unfair. This may not be Citizen Cane, but it’s not a bad movie either.

I had a couple of small problems with the film, and both of them where technicalities: On two or three occasions they put in a scene where something jumps at a character unexpectedly, creating a quick shock. This is effective movie making – in Carrie when the hand jumps out of the grave sane people poo their pant’s. It’s dumb, unnecessary and cheap in the Da Vinci Code.

The Da Vinci Code is a great drama, and most of the movie is very effective as a drama. However, director Ron Howard throws action scenes into the mix, and often milks them as though a James Bond movie just occurred. It is awkward and, again, unnecessary.

But these complaints are, in truth, quibbles. The movie is well acted, well shot and well interpreted. It is not a clear case of “the book was soooo much better.” This was of comparable quality to the book. It has been a while since I read the book but I could think of no points in the book that was cut.

Bottom line, this was a pretty good book, and if you enjoyed the book you will probably enjoy the movie. If you’ve never read the book, you could do worse than see this movie this spring.

I leave the last word to Lady Hespeler, the Dan Brown fan, who said the following as soon as we got in the car after the movie:

“I don’t care what the critics say; it was a great movie.”

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