The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard. The screenplay was written by Akiva Goldsman and based on Dan Brown's worldwide bestselling 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code. It was produced by Howard with John Calley and Brian Grazer and released by Columbia Pictures in the United States on May 19, 2006. The Da Vinci Code stars Tom Hanks as Harvard University symbologist Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou as cryptographer Sophie Neveu of the Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire of France, Sir Ian McKellen as British Grail historian Sir Leigh Teabing, Alfred Molina as Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, Jean Reno as Capitaine Bezu Fache of the Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire, and Paul Bettany as the Opus Dei monk Silas. The Da Vinci Code was previewed at the opening night of the 2006 Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2006. The Da Vinci Code then entered major release in many other countries on May 18, 2006 and was released in the United States by Columbia Pictures on May 19, 2006. The film, like Dan Brown's book, was harshly criticized by the Roman Catholic Church. Some church members urged the laity to boycott the film. Many of the early showings
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Judging by the cinematic results, Dan Brown's mega-best-seller is one of those books that should have remained on the printed page. The contrivances and conspiratorial leanings of Brown's controversial story may work well in print, but they come across as hopelessly ludicrous when they're depicted on the big screen that treatment courtesy of director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. So while this film is not as unwatchable as the early, negative "buzz" suggested, it is ponderous and humorless and makes you yearn for the silliness of the similarly themed but infinitely more fun "National Treasure." Tom Hanks stars as Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology at Harvard, who has just become the prime suspect in the murder of a Paris curator. But that's just the start of his problems. Langdon is also stuck in the middle of an ongoing battle between a secret society called the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei, a fanatical splinter group of the Catholic Church. On the run from police and pursued by a mysterious albino named Silas (Paul Bettany), Langdon is fortunate to be aided by Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), a police cryptologist who just happens to be the dead man's granddaughter. So the two work together as they try to solve riddles left at the murder scene, which appear to connect the works of Da Vinci to the fabled Holy Grail. Admittedly, the premise sounds pretty ridiculous. But Howard and Goldsman reuniting for the first time since "A Beautiful Mind" are determined to play it as straight-faced as possible, which works to the movie's detriment. Especially when you consider that it's 2 1/2 hours long and seems even longer. As for Hanks, who was a controversial choice for Langdon, he seems uninspired and he practically sleepwalks through his role. And Tautou isn't given much to do. But at least she fares better than the supporting cast, which includes Jean Reno, Alfred Molina and Jurgen Prochnow. Only Ian McKellen, who plays one of Langdon's scholar friends, really registers. He seems to be the only one who's having any fun. The film could have used a lot more of him. "The Da Vinci Code" is rated PG-13 for a few strong scenes of violence (including shootings, beatings, self-flagellation, vehicular violence and violence against women), gore, scattered use of profanity, male nudity and nude artwork, sexually suggestive talk and slang, brief drug content (including heroin use), and a brief sex scene. Running time: 149 minutes. E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.orgMay 19th, 2006 · Details
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