Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

Director: Ron Howard

Producer:John Calley & Brian Grazer

Tom Hanks
Audrey Tautou
Jean Reno
Ian McKellen


Those who absolutely have to see Dan Brown’s novel turned into talking pictures with a degree of fidelity will already know who they are, but for the rest of us, does the publishing phenomenon stand up on celluloid? Well, the money’s certainly there on screen, as the elaborate puzzle surrounding the murder of a Louvre curator and the religious mystery that may not have died with him wends its tourist trail through Paris, London’s Temple Church and Scotland’s Rosslyn Chapel. But as Tom Hanks’ populist academic and his plucky sidekick Audrey Tautou (the dead man’s grand-daughter) try to join the dots before sundry clerical and anti-clerical nasties get there first, it swiftly becomes apparent there’s a serious surfeit of plot over character. There are grandiose ideas here positing an alternative history of Christianity, but to get to them, reams and reams of questionable history and individual backstory have to be dutifully trotted out, stretching credibility and leaving potentially arresting themes utterly uninvolving.