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'The Da Vinci Code' review

It is not unusual for movies to be based on stories in books. This is called an 'adaptation'. The story from the book is adapted (=changed) into a screenplay which is then used for the creation of the film.

Read the review of the movie 'The Da Vinci Code', a 2006 film adaptation of a successful book and answer the following questions with no more than THREE WORDS from the article:

  1. What genre is the film?

  2. Which group was especially upset with the movie?

  3. What did the reviewer choose not to do, before watching the film?

  4. How had the book been described to the reviewer?

  5. How does the reviewer describe the ending of the film?

  6. Who is the lead actor in the film?

  7. How does the reviewer describe the length of the film?


The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard. In the movie, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. On the body, the police find a disconcerting cipher and start an investigation. Langdon escapes with the assistance of police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, and they begin a quest for the legendary Holy Grail. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal who wish to keep the true Grail a secret to prevent the destruction of Christianity.

The film, like the book, was considered controversial. It was met with especially harsh criticism by the Catholic Church or the accusation that it is behind a two-thousand-year-old cover-up concerning what the Holy Grail really is and the concept that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and that the union produced a daughter. .

I intentionally decided not to read the novel before seeing the movie (and don't intend to read it now that I have sat through the adaptation), hoping to provide a fresh perspective. Presumably, the book, which has been referred to as a "compulsive page-turner," is more riveting that its cinematic counterpart. The Da Vinci Code (the movie) is a mediocre thriller, with too few thrills and too much predictable action.

Bursts of action are interrupted by lengthy periods of exposition. The crime is essentially resolved around the two-hour mark, leaving the movie nearly 30 minutes to muddle through to a drawn-out and predictable conclusion. Oddly, the "talky" parts of the film are more interesting than the kinetic ones. That's because, when it comes to explaining the conspiracy, The Da Vinci Code does an impressive job of blending fact, speculation, and pure fiction into a mix that is intriguing (albeit outlandish). The action sequences, on the other hand, are too straightforward to be more than distracting.

The cast is impressive, and is headlined by megastar Tom Hanks and also includes French beauty Audrey Tautou, and respected British thespian, Ian McKellan. All do the best jobs they can with paper-thin characters. No one is given much of an opportunity to stand out. Paul Bettany brings a little menace to his role as the most visible bad guy, but he's never truly frightening. The chemistry between Hanks and Tautou is lukewarm at best.

The Da Vinci Code is ultimately too plot-heavy to allow much in the way of character development, and that means it's not an actors' feature. Hanks is familiar, Tautou is lovely, and McKellan is eloquent - and that's all they have to be.

The prosaic story does not warrant the film's length. Two-and-one-half hour movies are supposed to be something special. This one is merely overlong. I can't help but wonder whether a shorter, sharper cut of The Da Vinci Code might have resulted in a more suspenseful production. The "treasure hunt" aspect of the journey becomes tedious when breaking a code or solving a puzzle merely uncovers another puzzle or code. After a while, this pattern becomes tiresome. Maybe it's fun to "play along" with characters in a book, but the movie experience isn't engaging.

When you are ready, enter your answers in the sheet below:


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