CANNES: "The Da Vinci Code" Review

by | May 17, 2006 | Comments

Dan Brown’s novel "The Da Vinci Code" has the rep as a page-turner with more intellectual heft than your average pulp. So it comes as something of a surprise that Ron Howard‘s film adaptation, premiering at Cannes, is so stagnant. It feels more like a walk through a museum than a thriller about conspiracy that could shake Christianity to its very core.

The story involves a famed symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) who is drawn into a mystery after a man he knew professionally is murdered at the Louvre. A series of clues around the museum lead Langdon and a police cryptologist (Audrey Tautou) on a search that reveals mysterious Catholic orders that will go to any lengths to protect Church secrets.

The film isn’t lacking for interesting or appealing performers, but they’re given so little do; the film squanders the normally sympathetic Hanks and Tautou in scenes where they’re essentially shouting historical quasi-facts at each other while running from somebody. Their characters have almost no back stories, other than some childhood traumas revealed in flashbacks. Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, and Jean Reno do what they can with their roles, but ultimately, after an overdose of information and five or six and things-aren’t-as-they-seem moments, it gets awfully hard to care about the characters or the plot.

The film isn’t to Christianity what "JFK" is to American politics; heck, it isn’t even as sharp as "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," a Holy Grail search that was more exciting, more amusing, and frankly, more theologically interesting. For all of the controversy surrounding "The Da Vinci Code," the biggest problem with the film isn’t that it’s sacrilegious (it isn’t, really), it’s that it feels so dramatically flat.

The film currently stands at 22 percent on the Tomatometer; see what other critics are saying here.

Tag Cloud

elevated horror Emmys Hallmark Quiz Reality dogs award winner crime drama Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cartoon Nominations canceled TV shows Sundance Lionsgate Valentine's Day television superhero reboot target Election teaser A24 blockbusters sports TruTV Character Guide Ghostbusters Shondaland deadpool Trivia docudrama 21st Century Fox serial killer 2015 psycho Esquire singing competition godzilla ratings zero dark thirty Comedy WGN 2018 NYCC Photos New York Comic Con Star Wars FX on Hulu Disney streaming service Apple TV+ Comic Book Discovery Channel Marvel foreign YA vampires ITV prank obituary ViacomCBS boxoffice Adult Swim unscripted Black History Month Winners critics Peacock spanish crossover TCA Winter 2020 trailers miniseries Disney Plus Freeform BBC One The Walt Disney Company Summer RT History hist Dark Horse Comics indiana jones Calendar Teen GIFs best movies Mystery james bond Ellie Kemper Rom-Com worst YouTube Red The Witch HBO Reality Competition Classic Film The Purge doctor who documentaries sitcom 007 History TCM Paramount golden globe awards Showtime 2020 aliens cops Britbox Horror casting Mudbound Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Television Academy natural history RT21 Sundance TV child's play Amazon nfl Netflix Superheroe movie technology werewolf crime thriller true crime cinemax Biopics 24 frames Amazon Prime Video Lifetime Christmas movies See It Skip It Set visit Marvel Studios cancelled TV series saw Turner finale Film Festival Creative Arts Emmys die hard zombie DC Universe women batman Cartoon Network scorecard Super Bowl Shudder police drama Captain marvel theme song BBC America comic Animation spanish language Winter TV new zealand festival Podcast renewed TV shows HBO Go Watching Series Spike CNN DC Comics live action dc CMT hollywood Elton John directors Sneak Peek Writers Guild of America Arrowverse Fox Searchlight 20th Century Fox Tumblr toy story remakes ID venice Ovation politics WarnerMedia cooking Western Amazon Studios Pixar Alien APB Chernobyl Toys Epix Family TV Land American Society of Cinematographers Spectrum Originals cats high school strong female leads TCA Awards Mary poppins discovery Brie Larson OWN jamie lee curtis laika superman travel Amazon Prime Schedule 4/20 fresh Nat Geo witnail TCA Turner Classic Movies blockbuster SundanceTV USA Network name the review Infographic harry potter king kong Lucasfilm monster movies breaking bad The Arrangement NBC Musical Fox News 2016 kong LGBT Country Martial Arts Television Critics Association Tubi Academy Awards spinoff razzies diversity parents jurassic park San Diego Comic-Con Image Comics BAFTA comic books Disney+ Disney Plus 2017 Extras free movies Crunchyroll DGA docuseries 93rd Oscars anthology Rocketman Stephen King twilight DC streaming service canceled stoner PaleyFest dceu Fantasy Columbia Pictures justice league Legendary Avengers Rock psychological thriller crime ABC Family spider-man Syfy VH1 TBS Cannes telelvision OneApp FX Rocky zombies festivals science fiction classics adventure The Walking Dead marvel cinematic universe Mary Tyler Moore emmy awards stand-up comedy Apple Sundance Now cancelled robots green book YouTube Premium Disney Trailer 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards cults National Geographic 99% space rom-coms Crackle medical drama social media Endgame AMC Sony Pictures PBS TIFF new york Certified Fresh SXSW Kids & Family news nbcuniversal aapi TCA 2017 Nickelodeon Polls and Games historical drama period drama black all-time The Academy animated series 2021 versus Spring TV Musicals satire Comedy Central Pirates ESPN facebook Song of Ice and Fire Masterpiece PlayStation Fall TV Food Network game of thrones Paramount Plus based on movie toronto Countdown TV GoT quibi Exclusive Video BET Awards spain game show Hear Us Out video latino cars new star wars movies halloween tv dragons Red Carpet concert kaiju rotten movies we love Vudu President rt archives composers Starz Lifetime El Rey video on demand Baby Yoda halloween Paramount Network pirates of the caribbean franchise Mindy Kaling blaxploitation comics japanese indie Pet Sematary political drama SDCC hispanic Year in Review asian-american book IFC Netflix Christmas movies TNT archives mutant E! spy thriller chucky Funimation Walt Disney Pictures Hulu Holiday book adaptation disaster Mary Poppins Returns slashers worst movies Acorn TV BBC Awards Tour Black Mirror streaming ghosts Tomatazos italian films cancelled TV shows biography Opinion boxing Pride Month anime football TV renewals romance TLC popular Apple TV Plus Interview know your critic binge Marvel Television mission: impossible Disney Channel 2019 Marathons Action australia war documentary Star Trek Universal Music Heroines ABC HBO Max 71st Emmy Awards lord of the rings Logo Awards 72 Emmy Awards screenings Tarantino transformers sequel Superheroes international Oscars Film a nightmare on elm street revenge screen actors guild south america criterion Warner Bros. supernatural cancelled television richard e. Grant Pop Drama YouTube Hallmark Christmas movies kids Comics on TV Best and Worst Holidays Christmas scary movies Women's History Month Anna Paquin fast and furious GLAAD 45 A&E children's TV hidden camera french thriller MCU independent Broadway scene in color stop motion Premiere Dates sequels rotten Box Office Travel Channel Bravo MSNBC universal monsters CBS Emmy Nominations MTV TV One comedies VICE DirecTV heist movie First Reviews mockumentary joker Binge Guide Thanksgiving what to watch talk show dark nature Pop TV dramedy Trophy Talk CW Seed Pacific Islander IFC Films LGBTQ FOX X-Men BET tv talk First Look Sci-Fi reviews Video Games CBS All Access sag awards Grammys VOD Cosplay christmas movies romantic comedy FXX The CW comiccon E3 USA ABC Signature adaptation golden globes