Seek the Truth.
Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) was to meet with the curator of the Louvre in Paris, but the latter never showed. Instead, his dead body is found in one of the Louvre’s galleries that same evening. It appears, however, that before his last breath the curator managed to leave behind hints and symbols that might point to his killer’s identity. Robert Langdon is called to the crime scene and with the help of French cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) tries to make sense of the clues that seem to hint at a secret message included in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci. With the French police on their trails (Langdon is a prime suspect in the murder case after all), Sophie and Langdon race from one clue to the other and get involved in a war between a secret society and a radical Catholic organization that stops at nothing. A war to protect a secret for which it is worth killing for. A secret so powerful that it could shake the very foundations of mankind.
Making a best-selling novel into a movie is double-edged sword, above all if the novel in question is Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. As far as the book goes, Brown’s annoying prose style couldn’t have challenged a 10-year old but on the other hand he managed to take a relatively exciting premise and turned it into the most fast-paced page-turner in recent years. With its cinematic feel, the novel (and without doubt Brown himself) literally begged for a movie adaptation. Seeing the final product then leaves you with the feeling that this could have been much better. Unlike in its written counterpart, you never get a sense of how fast the events actually unfold simply because usually there isn’t much going on on screen. The exposition and the solving of the riddles are represented in an extremely dull way and are often accompanied with incredibly awkward dialogues. The novel entertained its readers above all because it was meant to be fun. The movie, however, seems to take itself way too seriously and it is the actors who are predominately to blame for this. Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou (Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain) underplay to such a degree that you sometimes seriously question their interest in the unfolding events. Nevertheless, the movie is beautifully shot (due to a lot of on-location filming) and the appearance of Ian McKellen’s character, about half-way through the movie, really gives it a much needed adrenaline shot. (2.5 out of 4 boxes of chocolates)
The Da Vinci Code is rated PG-13 for blasphemy.